Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Top Dog

Top Dog
Chuck Norris

Rated: PG 
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: April 28, 1995 Released by: Live Entertainment

Top Dog can't seem to decide whether it's a comedy or a serious drama. Ir begins on a serious note with the shooting of a police officer and his K-9 partner by a white supremacy group. A pretty heavy theme for a film that's aimed towards kids.

After his partner dies, Reno, a floppy-eared shaggy dog is teamed up with hot shot Detective Jack Wilder (Chuck Norris). At first, Wilder is against the pairing but Reno's drug-sniffing and culprit-catching heroics eventually win him over.

With Reno's help, Jack tracks down the terrorists' hideout and stakes out their next bombing target, a peace rally. This showdown gives Norris a chance to use some of his famous kickboxing tricks. The physical violence is tone d down and the action involving Reno is played for laughs. But, the opening sequence and the murdering intent of the Neo-Nazis is disturbing.

Written and directed by Chuck's brother, Aaron, the storyline intersperses comical scenes involving Norris and the dog, along with bombings and shoot-outs. Especially with the current headlines, mixing humor with this tense subject is disconcerting and confusing.

The dog is cute and I like the idea of Norris making fun of his macho image, however, next time they should stick strictly to comedy.

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