Snow Dogs

For some reason, Disney keeps making really, really crappy live-action films. Someone must be encouraging them. Oh, that’s right: It’s YOU. You morons, you Americans, who keep paying money to see things like “102 Dalmatians” and “Inspector Gadget.” “Snow Dogs” is YOUR fault, and I want you all to get together and somehow figure out a way to give me back the two hours I spent watching it. Because I HAVE to see the movies; I’m a movie critic. I don’t pay to get in, so I’m not supporting them financially. What’s YOUR excuse?

What’s that? “It’s cute,” you say? As if “cute” is reason enough to plunk down $7? I’ve been told by some that I’m “cute.” If I walked up to you on the street, would you give me $7 to be “cute” for a while? Because I’ve got the time, and I could use the money.

“Snow Dogs” is about an actor named Cuba Gooding Jr., and how he won an Oscar for “Jerry Maguire,” and then decided his next career move should be to only appear in stupid films like “Chill Factor” and “Men of Honor,” and that maybe he should occupy the five most irrelevant minutes of screen time in “Pearl Harbor,” and that to top it off he should play Black Guy Who’s Out of Place in Alaska in “Snow Dogs.”

He plays a Miami dentist named Ted who learns that he’s adopted, and that his birth mother is now dead, and she left him a team of dogs and a cabin in the frozen wasteland of Alaska. So he goes there, and then he slips on the ice a lot. And I do mean A LOT. Disney has been making slapstick B-grade live-action comedies for decades (“That Darn Cat,” anyone? “The Shaggy D.A.,” perhaps?), but seldom has the physical humor been this annoying. I can accept that a man who has spent his entire life in Florida would be ill at ease in the snow; what I can’t accept is that he would slip into this many predicaments, and remained as good-naturedly bug-eyed as he does.

Michael Bolton makes an amusing cameo. James Coburn is irascible as Ted’s natural father. The dogs ARE cute. But good heavens, isn’t there something better to take the tiny tots to?

D (; PG, mild profanity and stuff.)