ReviewWriter: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Lady And The Tramp", "Homeward Bound"
"Hotel For Dogs" is an all round sentimental film on the strong bond between two siblings and a bunch of stray dogs that they so passionately take care of in an abandoned hotel. Interestingly enough, this so-called 'abandoned' hotel is fully furnished and comes with expensive furniture! All that we need is some cleaning up by our four young stars and voila - a cosy hotel is open, complete with unique and wacky inventions, for the benefit of both man and dog. One must admit, these inventions certainly are useful if you are a dog owner!
The story is very simple; Andi (Emma Roberts) and her younger brother Bruce (Jake T. Austin) have a secret - an adorable and intelligent Jack Russell Terrier called Friday with an appetite the size of the world. When they could no longer keep their beloved pet in their apartment, they do whatever they can to find a good home for him. Pretty soon, they stumble across an old abandoned hotel inhabited by two strays - Lenny, a Giant Bull Mastiff and Georgia, the small Bull Terrier with the knack of fetching almost anything. The idea to rescue homeless animals is born. Surprisingly enough, most of the dogs brought in are pedigrees, something that is hard to come by if you're walking on the streets really.
In this typical children's flick, almost all the adults are portrayed as evil, from Andi and Bruce's foster parents to the animal control officers. The only attraction here are of course the dogs and the charismatic Emma Roberts ("Nancy Drew") as she so convincingly plays her part as the protective older sister. The camera absolutely loves her. Seeing Lisa Kudrow once again on screen was also exciting as she plays a foster mother who doesn't really know the true meaning of parenting.
However, not everything is sweet in this film as the dog pound scene is tough - imagine death row dogs and a sign bearing "Dogs will be executed after 72 hours". It touched on the issue of mercy killing for animals and introduces the option of a no-kill animal shelter.
The pets in "Hotel For Dogs" performed extremely well and come off really adorable with their cute antics. However, there's not enough humour to make it a truly memorable comedy.Cinema Online, 03 March 2009