Writer: Jim Kouf, Tommy Swerdlow, Michael Goldberg, Mark Gibson, Philip Halprin (Screenplay) Gary Paulsen (Book ‘Winterdance: the Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod’)
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr, James Coburn, Sisqo, Nichelle Nichols, M. Emmet Walsh, Graham Greene, Joanna Bacalso
Plot: When a Miami dentist inherits a team of sled dogs, he’s got to learn the trade or lose his pack to a crusty mountain man.
Verdict: Family Film Plus
Story: We start by meeting our dentist in Miami running a business where he face is on the buses and everything is going well for him. He gets a shock when he finds out he is adopted and his real mother has just died. He goes to Alaska to find out more about his parents but he ends up biting off more than he can as it turns out she is a dog racer and his father is the scariest man in the town.
This is a very basic story of finding out that someone really is. It also shows the uncomfortable bonding between lost of son and father. It also enters us into the world of Huskie racing and shows one man wanting to prove he fits in where he originally comes from. All this makes for a solid family film that can be shown to children of all ages and still enjoyed by the adults. (7/10)
Cuba Gooding Jr: Ted Brooks Miami dentist who travels to Alaska to find out about his real parents only to find out that he mother is one of the town’s most popular people and his father is one of the least popular. He also has to deal with the huskies who don’t want to make anything easy for him. Cuba gives a solid performance that is full of slapstick which he looks out of place in which works for this role and a character outside his comfort zone. (7/10)
James Coburn: Thunder Jack father of Ted who is the town loner that everyone is scared off. He wants the dogs to help him finally win the Artic Challenge and refuses to bond with his son. James gives a good performance. (7/10)
Joanna Bacalso: Barb local bar manager who gives Ted the tour of the town and helps Ted with the dogs as well as become a romantic interest. Joanna gives a solid performance. (6/10)
Support Cast: Filled with the locals of the town and the best friend from Miami that are all used for a few extra laughs.
Director Review: Brian Levant – Brian does a good job to create a solid family film. (7/10)
Comedy: Has a few laughs but nothing over the top funny. (6/10)
Family: This is a good family film that will be enjoyed by all. (9/10)
Settings: The settings make for extra laughs and help Ted look out of place. (8/10)
Special Effects: Some terribly lazy CGI effects to make the dogs expressions. (1/10)
Suggestion: This is one to sit down with the family to enjoy. (Family Time)
Best Part: The mush training scenes.
Worst Part: CGI effects on the dogs.
Funniest Scene: Demon chasing Ted
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $115 Million
Budget: $35 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
Tagline: Get ready for mush hour!
Trivia: Many of the dogs in the movie later went on to appear in the film ‘Eight Below’
Overall: Solid Family Film For All