Who doesn’t love a daft family romp about dogs? No matter how crap the film is technically or how awful the acting is, a cutesy family film that involves adorable canines is always a win, or at least for me it is.
Danny decides he wants a wiener dog for his birthday, and begrudgingly his father agrees to take him to the local shelter to adopt a dog. Little do they know, their new pet Shelly (cutely named by Danny’s little sister because she came from a shelter) is a descendent of a famous and very fast racing dog, recognised due to a lightning blot marking on her back leg. Danny decides he wants to enter Shelly into the wiener dog races, I’m pretty sure you can guess who wins.
Wiener Dog Nationals is that exact brand of daft family fun, in terms of it’s technical merit it has very little, with very visible editing that’s jarring at times, and an overuse of crossfade and fade-to-black transitions that are eye roll inducing after a while. The film is reasonably well shot with a clear, brightly coloured picture but good editing should be seamless and barely noticeable and that’s where this film falls down.
The performances are mediocre, one particularly bad performance is that of Austin Anderson who plays Danny’s older brother Skip Jack (I guess his parents were tuna fans) his performance is almost cringeworthy, the film almost seems as leverage to show off his guitar playing because there are way too many scenes of him playing an impressive guitar riff while pulling stupid faces that resemble kind of what you imagine his orgasm face to be like. Cringe! When he’s not playing the guitar (which is seldom, it has to be said) his performance is difficult to believe, there’s just something about the way he acts that screams ‘uncomfortable’, it feels like a high school drama piece where the lead isn’t overly comfortable with being on the stage. Acting’s not for everyone though, maybe his music career will be more successful.
The dogs are adorable and the story is predictable and pathetic enough to satisfy when you’re in need of a daft, fun family friendly film. It’s amusing, reasonably entertaining and very cute so as long as you can turn off your brain for a little while and ignore the film’s mediocre…well…everything, then it’s good fun.