Hello, Spongey here.
Hey, remember the Buddies? Of course you do. A couple years ago I reviewed all the films in the Air Buddies franchise and regretted. Almost all the films were cheap cash grabs with stereotypical characters, terrible writing and lame humor.
When I finished it off with Super Buddies and later the Santa Paws spin off, I figured it was done until they made a new one. …But they have not made a new one. There hasn’t been a new film since Super Buddies.
That’s odd since there was one in each years for the past couple years, but in 2014 they took a break. Well, this year I guess they wanted to make up for it bu they don’t want to actually a Buddies movie.
So they went back to the formula of the original Air Buddies series and combined it with a recent trend. Because that always turns out well.
The director of these films, Robert Vince, is famous for only making bad animal movies, such as MVP and its sequels (Oh god, I gotta cover that at some point), and Spymate. His films have either Monkeys or Dogs for some reason.
So he combined that with the buddies to make today’s movie. I saw an ad for it and thought it was a Buddies movie until I looked into it further. Yeah. See, the formula with the original series was to put Air Bud into various sports.
And I guess they liked it because we have…this. What trend did they combine it with? Wrestling of course! That’s big so of course we must cash in on it. I don’t know whats a dumber idea, this or Flintstones Meets WWE.
That’s a thing that came in 2015.
I was bored and I had no idea what to review this week. This came out on Netflix…so here we go. We’ll find out if this is actually decent or as bad as his other films.
The writers consist the usual team and the two people have done nothing. So yeah, let’s dive in and insert wrestling pun here.
This is, Russell Madness
After the most horrifying logo in existence (Air Bud Entertainment? Shudder), the movie starts with badly acted narration from our main character, Russell voiced by Jeff from Clarence. …Well everyone has a bad performance sometimes.
He tells about how he was a scaredy dog and how he got adopted by some kid.
“He’s so cute”
And he pisses on him. Lovely.
The kid is understandably scared off and we find out that this happens often. Well, I can predict the plot already. He’s pretty much never adopted as he grows up. Hey, at least he’s not Grumpy Cat.
We then our cut to our human characters, a family that has just found an old wrestling arena. The little sister is played by that young sister from Crash and Bernstein. She has amazing range.
This place belongs to the Dad’s father or something and it’s pretty run down right now. They got it in the will and they must make it turn a profit within the year, so they can sell the place and forget this ever happened.
Okay, I see we’re on the same page.
They explore the place and we cut back to Russell as he pisses again. We get a few bits where the music wisely tells us how to feel. Max, the son finds an old wrestling doll and he has a moment with Dad that’s “sweet”.
Dad tells about what the place was like back in the day and we get a flashback. Yes, it is the most kid-ified version of wrestling you will ever see. Max wants to bring the place back to its glory days.
“That bell has rung”
Back with our dog, he hears he will be taken to the pound so he decides to make a run for it. The guy says he’s gonna take him to his new home…but it turns out that he said that because some other worker gonna adopted him.
Meanwhile, our family needs wrestlers so they go to Craiglists. Of course Russell to walk by the place and parks himself in the alley. Then we find out that the place had a little monkey mascot back in the day and he still hangs around, because the little girl finds him.
And we have a monkey because…why not. At least he’s not Adam Sandler this time.
Speaking of which, he can talk to humans because…magic. The girl threatens to tell people about him talking, so but he is able to keep her quiet by joining her in a tea party. Sigh.
“How about two lumps to the head? Please?”
I like him already.
Back in th Alley, Russell faces an evil british dog because god hates me.
“I’ll get Hangry”
Doof came up with that first, you hack Brit.
Thankfully, Hunk the Monkey scares him off. Hunk introduces himself to Russell and they hit off. Later, the wrestling place opens its doors for its first match in years between some guys.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the best part of the movie so far. I mean, it’s between a big guy who was in jail and a surfer dude.
It ends badly so Dad decides to step into the ring. This is going to be amazing. But before anything cool can happen, Russell bumps into the evil British bulldog again. He’s able to defend himself due to having inexplicable skills. He ends up in the arena and is face to face with the big bad guy who is ca big enough idiot/dick to think the dog wants to fight him.
Through some insane luck, the dog ends up taking him down because of a bunch of contrivances. Really, I didn’t expect anything different. When he wakes up, the family is with him and they decided to keep him just like that.
The next day, Russell is an internet sensation because of course he is. Naturally, he’s unaware of his epic skills and Hunk tells him all about it.
“You’re saying I can wrestle?”
I can’t believe it either.
After thinking it over a bit, he signs up with Hunk the monkey as his manager. …Well the rules don’t say a dog can’t wrestle, I guess.
Oh, and you wanna know Hunk’s backstory? He was in a science lab as they were doing experiments to see if Monkey’s can talk. He spoke in English so they captured him but he escaped and befriend a wrestling guy.
…Yeah, that’s about it. No reason for why he can talk.
Speaking of which, he reveals himself to the family. They don’t question it at all and are just surprised to see a monkey.
“Not a phone call, a tweet, an email, an Instagram, nothing?”
Hunk and Dad are reunited and they all introduce themselves. He offers to be Russell’s trainer and they say yes. Seriously a talking monkey asks to be the manager to a wrestling joke and they just…accept it.
Then we get a training montage to an actual orginal-ish song. Wow, didn’t see that coming. Why does this have a better montage song than Cloud 9? Yeah, it’s actually a decent montage. …Yes.
…You mean madness, right? Like the title says?
So we move on to his first fight, which is against a Mummy guy. I don’t get it either. He kicks his ass.
“Looks like this match is a wrap”
I hate you.
“This is madness!”
“This is Russell Madness”
There we go. Also, roll credits!
After that. They are approached by a a big shot wrestling guy named Mick Vaughn, played by John Ratzenburger. …Super Buddies, now this?!
He’s the villain, because the monkey says so.
The next day, a building inspector drops by and tells them they are not up to code. So instead of simply fixing it themselves, they make a deal with Vaughn to buy the place.
As a villain, he plans to make tons of evil march and stuff. Because money is evil, remember that. With his help, they fix the place up and pass inspection.
After that, Russell gets back to work, fighting people with stupid gimmicks. Then we get a “Becoming famous” montage, full of fake magazine titles and discount versions of talk show hosts.
Dad and Russell are so busying being famous, that of course they are away from the family a lot and even miss Max’s birthday. Wow, that was quick. And this makes Dad forget about the anniversary because…seriously? That cliché?
“Hunk’s been keeping me company”
Later, they start gearing up with a big match against the current champion, and they make a big deal about how this is a David and Goliath situation. One of them is a DOG. It would be this way no matter who you put him with!
The other guy is actually funny, by the way.
To make matters worse, Vaughn wants them to drop the monkey “gimmick” (because he doesn’t hear him talk all the time..).
“Russell is gonna take the belt home tonight, no questions asked”
“That’s a question”
Vaughn bribes the big guy into taking a dive. Yep, he’s a scumbag villain, what a shock.
So now it’s time for the big fight. Russell does pretty well, but he gets so busy showboating that this gives the big guy time to pull out a dog whistle he happens to have. With that, The Hammer defeats him. No one saw the dog whistle because everyone is blind.
Vaugh chews him out for not throwing the fight. But he turns around when he learns he can charge even more for a re-match. Which means the movie isn’t over yet. Darn.
“All of this was fake?”
Well it is wrestling.
Dad decides he’s done but he can’t really do anything because Vaughn says the dog is his because of legal crap. Naturally everyone is sad and stuff.
With that, Max and Hunk head out to rescue him. …Yeah, I’m in that part where I have nothing to add.
Because this is a dumb movie, it doesn’t take much effort to break in and get Russell. They tell him to stop sulking and get over his loss. Yes, it’s sappy and rushed.
They escape but bump into Vauhgn on their way out. The family also shows up …with the pet store guy. Yeah, he heard about stuff and he’s here to say that Russell belongs to the pet store guy, cuz he adopted him.
Yeah, that makes sense and it’s something Vaughn and the others couldn’t have known about …but we saw earlier that the guy knew about Russell being a wrestler guy. So why didn’t he turn up at any point to get him? He wanted to wait until it was dramatically convenient?
“I’m handing over custody of Russell to the Ferraro family”
So everything’s fine except Vaughn owns the building and they gotta leave.
“We are family, and family …is a verb”
…Not really, but…heh.
They eventually hit a deal: Russell wins a re-match with The Hammer and they get the building. And now we have the most epic climax to a Dog wrestling movie ever!
It has to be a tag team match, which means Dad gets to come out!
“It is Hammer Time”
Also, Max is going in and not Dad. Lame. Wait, is that even legal? There has to be a rule against kids doing this!
Mom sees this and jumps and starts kicking the big guy’s partner’s ass. …Okay, that’s amazing…but she gets pulled away. Aw.
Against all logic, Max defeats him with a groin kick. Oh course. …Wait, what happened to “below the belt”?
Russell is tagged and so is The Hammer. He pulls out the Dog Whistle cuz no one thought to check for it after last time.
Thankfully, Russell is able to get over it and kick his ass. That climax was more enjoyable than it had any right to be. It turns out Russell used ear plugs to stop the noise since he knew he would cheat again.
Yep, the dog was smarter than everyone else…again. So yeah, Russell won and everyone is happy.
“After our big win, The Fearros won back Ferraro Wrestling. –The business was back to its former glory. Russell Maniac and El Maniac became the most famous tag team duo in history, proving that the strongest tag team really is family”
Yeah, figured it would have an abrupt ending, but it’s still an ending. We’re done, yay!
..Also, that Russel Maniac theme they play in the credits is way too catchy.
For better or worse, that was exactly what I expected. I really can’t say anything you didn’t expect me to say. It has a cliché and lazy story, weak humor, and dull characters. Seriously, what else were you expecting?
It’s bad but in any shocking way. And for its worth, its better than most of the Buddies movies. For one, the lip syncing is actually decent.
I can’t saying too special about the story or character. The story follows every expected beat and the clichés are done in a fairly rushed fashion. The characters are pretty typical, with the main character being more undeveloped than he should be.
Everyone is just there. But to be honest, the acting is okay. No one is amazing but everyone is competent enough for what the movie deserves. I still have no idea what John Ratzenburger was doing in this.
So I really have nothing to add…except one thing. As bad as the movie is…it’s kind of entertaining. You know, in a guilty pleasure kind of way. I mean, it gets so stupid with the concept that you can’t help but enjoy mocking it.
Plus, it does have actually okay moments, mostly with the Monkey, who was the best character. It’s all stupid, but it aside from the piss thing early on, it doesn’t have too many really painful moments.
It’s just the right amount of stupid so you can kind of enjoy it ironically. But mostly if you’re drunk and with your friends. Alone, it’s kind of sad.
And that’s all there is too say. Shortest final thoughts ever. Everything is exactly what you were expected, and its stupidity makes it fun to riff on.
But if you can’t enjoy stuff like this, than yeah, stay away.
Now to wait for a real Buddies movie.