Air Bud: World Pup (2000) - Torturous Assignment for the White Elephant Blog-A-Thon (April 2007) * Favorite Review * Worst Hit *

Oh, the pain!

Genre: Family Romantic Comedy Sport Serial (USA, Canada)

Starring: Kevin Zegers (MVP: Most Valuable Primate; Wrong Turn), Brittany Paige Bouck

Directed By: Bill Bannerman

Overview: Love is in the air. When new neighbors move in, Josh and Air Bud find they gotta get some of that hot bitch action. Somewhere along the way there's a soccer game... and some bad guys.


Bill Bannerman is a nobody... with potential. Kevin Zegers is a child star... with potential. I could go on and on but I think you can understand the gist. The most recognizable faces are those of C-Grade actors like Dale Midkiff made famous for his roles in Route 666, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Pet Sematary, as I'm sure you all WELL remember. There's also Martin Ferrero, and I was sad when I saw him in this, because I genuinely liked him as goofy comic relief guy in "Miami Vice". He's accomplished enough! What's he doing in this fetid tripe?! He was the best part, seriously.
Rating: 5


The Director of Photography is 1.) high or retarded 2.) has a high or retarded boy in charge of lighting design or 3.) his high or retarded gaffer has connections in the Mafia so deep that they let him do whatever they wanted for fear of getting clipped. Let this be a lesson to you all: Lighting gels are NOT always your friend. What warehouse has green and purple lights streaming through its windows? A 1981 toxic waste plant? Maybe... MAYBE.

I can understand low-budget shoots being on a strict schedule. I can see that soccer filming day might just so happen to fall on a partly cloudy day, I get it, it happens, but at least have your editing team TRY to splice together footage that keeps a modicum of continuity! When Girlfriend of Squish and I were saying "Overcast, dusk, sunny, overcast, noon, dusk" during a scene where someone does a breakaway with the ball and scores, that's just effin' unprofessional. Cut your edit right, damnit, you can break a kid's brain doing shit like that. One more thing? When your dog has one trick, it's not better if you have the dog do that trick six times, really. Enough.
Rating: 4


I was rewriting the script as we watched, which is interesting because a movie's never been so badly written that I've felt the need to do that. Rather than writing a scenario where things make sense, socially, they just took the lane of least resistance to carry the plot forward. "Oh here's a Swiss army knife with a dog whistle in it." How fecking convenient. God forbid they add depth in character development, Jesus.
Rating: 4


It's a fucking sport dog movie. What hell kind of plot you THINK it's going to have? Guess what? The dog's team wins, sorry to ruin it for you. You might actually find yourself DISAPPOINTED that there isn't enough dog action in this one. It's more about pre-pubescent kids trying to muddle through socializing scenarios that hope to end in boob grabbing.

A Boy And His Dog, now THERE'S a talking dog movie!
Rating: 4


Alright, fine, at least finally Air Bud: World Pup might get some lenience in this category. It's a kid's movie after all, and Squish the Vituperative should at least submit that there should be more suspension of disbelief, right? Wrong. When you aim a film at a demographic, make that film ABOUT the demographic. A movie made for post-toddler / pre-teens should not include 14-year-olds engaging in pre-marital coitus rituals. It turns my stomach to see children with veneered teeth and tan-in-a-bottle skin running around with their breasts bouncing in slow motion.


I'm not kidding! IT'S NOT EVEN ABOUT THE DOG!
Rating: 3

Sure, she could eat a carrot through a chainlink fence, but at least she's not plastified at 12-years-old
Sure, she could eat a carrot through a chainlink fence, but at least she's not plastified at 12-years-old

Overall Rating: 40% (I'm Afraid He'll Have To Be Put Down)

The Air Bud franchise will continue to pump out film after mediocre film for a while yet, I suppose. This is the third of six so far, most of which went straight to video, and with such titles as Air Bud: Golden Receiver and Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, it's no wonder. Yet, it makes me think on the nature of our children's entertainment.

Many moons ago, I received a demo for a children's video game. I'm pretty sure it was "Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire", a first person shooter geared for 5-year-olds and over. As I played, I realized how much of the shaft our kids got because they didn't know any better. The game was unimaginative and poorly designed, the graphics were two generations behind the norm... in short the game was terrible on all fronts. I wonder why the same little to no effort was made to produce this film. When I turned off the computer that time, I thought Disney should stay out of video games. Now I wonder if they should even be making film. Why should we not presume greater intelligence and quality from children's entertainment? In fact, isn't it MORE important?

I shudder to think that there's a greater possibility that all this mediocrity is meant to prepare the young into growing into the 'good enough for you' consumer corporate mentality... a chilling thought indeed.

Do your kids a favour and spare them from garbage of this calibre. Demand more for their impressionable minds.

See what other critics had to say about the stinky movies assigned to them for the White Elephant Blog-A-Thon, being held over at Lucid Screening. My submission was Purple Rain. Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to that!

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