Spot, a.k.a. Agent Eleven, the bull mastiff who’s a drug-sniffing FBI ”agent” in See Spot Run, doesn’t have an especially funny, ugly, or expressive face. He isn’t vicious, and he doesn’t slobber or bark or show a naughty propensity for, say, trashing people’s living rooms. (Compared with this pooch, Tom Hanks’ drooling best friend in Turner & Hooch was a mountain of personality.) He may be the nicest, gentlest, blandest canine to have ever enjoyed the privilege of getting a movie named after him. David Arquette, a graduate of the bowwow school of comic acting, shows no such modesty. When he does a trick, like letting cereal dribble out of his mouth or grinning like a smarmy stoned idiot who expects to be loved simply for grinning like a smarmy stoned idiot, you don’t know whether to pet him or beat him with a rolled-up newspaper. Personally, I’d say that it was about time Arquette was leashed.
A sub-Adam Sandler ”family” caper movie, in which Arquette is teamed with a goofy tyke and with Agent Eleven, whom the Mob wants to whack (a contract out on a dog — ha-ha!), See Spot Run never gets going, but it’s dotted with strange seizures of humiliation. Michael Clarke Duncan, as Agent Eleven’s partner, is forced to pine for him like a giant child who has lost his daddy, and Arquette, at one point, spends several minutes trapped in a slip-sliding duel with doggie doo, until he cries out in defeat, ”I’m covered in caca!” He certainly is; it’s called See Spot Run. F