The adults in Underdog appear to be having a really good time, and that helps the adults in the audience have a fairly good one.
Based on the 1960s cartoon about a superhero canine, Underdog benefits not so much from the special effects, which actually take away from the original’s endearingly cheesy quality, but from the likes of Peter Dinklage (Elf) and Patrick Warburton (“Seinfeld”) as mad scientist Dr. Simon Barsinister and his dim henchman, respectively.
Dinklage plays Barsinister with such deep-voiced gusto you would think he’s doing Shakespeare, while Warburton reaches new levels of Puddy-like obtuseness as the sidekick.
Also on hand is Jason Lee – doing “My Name is Earl”-style vocal work as the voice of Underdog – and James Belushi as the father of the boy who adopts the beagle.
Belushi doesn’t add much, but at least he’s not Tim Allen. When it comes to these sorts of family movies, we’ll take our blessings where we can find them.