As far as wholesome, simplistic, light as cotton candy family entertainment goes, this is top notch. My only real complaint is that dog catchers were involved in the film, and hasn't someone in Hollywood realized yet that the evil dog catcher is a thing of the past? It's completely unnecessary in today's scripts.
Anyway, Buddy himself falls in love, with none other than the dog that belongs to Josh's new love interest. They have puppies, and for some inexplicable reason the dog catchers want to steal the puppies. Well, that's OK, because the puppies are adorable (even if they're of different sizes throughout the film - larger when they should be smaller, smaller when they should be larger). We see them as puppies just out of the womb, and is there much in life cuter than a newborn puppy?
Both Buddy and Josh find love interests in this movie. Things start with Josh's mother remarrying. Josh joins the soccer team in order to be closer to, and possibly make points with, a girl he is attracted to.
Two shady characters are out to get Buddy and Buddy's love interest (and later, their puppies of which there are six and not four like pictured on the cover).
There are plenty of good dog moments and the lack of seriousness means parents will not be tempted to skip over any scenes. But there are two things that don't make sense.
Who are the bad guys, what are they really up to, and how can they make any money at it if it takes them many months just to get at Buddy and family?
As in Seventh Inning Stretch, Josh's parents go to the big game and find out Josh is missing (as is his girlfriend and Buddy). What do they do? They watch the game! Can you believe it! They show no concern for a missing child (at least in SIS they have a few lines about wondering where they could be). The way the mother was portrayed in the first movie, she should have been turning the town upside-down looking for Josh. Not a good portrayal of a loving family.
But, all in all, the movie is fun and appropriate for younger children (my four-year-old loved it).
The second? Umm... not so great.
The third? Read more