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Now in the 8th Grade, Josh discovers he has a great throwing arm and tries out for his school football team. It is then soon discovered that his dog, Buddy, can also make impossible catches, and the two become an unstoppable force. However, an evil duo of Russian circus-managers attempt to kidnap Buddy and use him as their main attraction, while the Timberwolves make it to the championship. Can Josh save Buddy before the big game?Written by
In Fernfield, Washington, Josh is not happy that his mother Jackie is now dating Dr. Patrick Sullivan, a veterinarian. His father's absence is apparently explained by a newspaper headline about a deceased test pilot. Hoping to get dirt on his nemesis, Josh and his friend Tom take Josh's dog Buddy to Patrick, pretending Buddy has a problem. They find incriminating evidence.
After Patrick gives Josh a football as a present, Josh shows he has talent, and Tom tells Josh he should try out for the junior high football team. Josh makes the team as backup quarterback.
Coach Fanelli's job is in trouble, though. He is not winning games and sports are expensive, so Principal Salter would rather cut them. If you know the Air Bud movies, it's not hard to figure out what will happen.
Meanwhile, bumbling Russians Natalya and Popov drive an ice cream truck around the neighborhood, hoping to capture Buddy and add him to their collection of animals.
This is a harmless enough family film (unless you're one of the stunt players--OUCH!). It's not going to win any awards, except maybe for being bad (I just feel certain people would have said it deserved worst film), but it's an enjoyable story. Between the hapless Russians and the football players, it's only slightly less violent than "Home Alone", but it's all good clean fun.
Among human actors, I would say the best performance comes from Robert Constanzo as the coach. He never gives up, and he has a positive attitude.
Fans of classic comics Tim Conway and Dick Martin have a treat as the legends serve as announcers at one football game. They make the Russians look like geniuses. I'm not entirely sure the writers took advantage of their talents, but if the objective was to make Martin look as dumb as any character in movie history, they succeeded. These two are fun even if they don't really show why they were great.
The best actors in the movie played Buddy. I noticed four in the credits, and I suppose each one had a special ability. A chimp in the Russians' menagerie also deserves mention (no, I have no particular interest in chimps).
Don't expect too much--just enjoy.
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