The family-friendly comic-strip canine gets his own live-action romp, and with Owen Wilson providing the voice Marmaduke seeks to bite off a bit of hipster credibility. But does Wilson have any coolness left after Marley & Me? The answer is a resounding “no,” because as big as Marmaduke the dog might be, he and the movie have absolutely no bark or bite to hold our attention.
Failure to Launch director Tom Dey fails to generate even the spark necessary to get this adaptation rolling, which means that he actually found ways to waste the vocal efforts of George Lopez, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Steve Coogan and Kiefer Sutherland in key dog and cat roles alongside Wilson and the human cardboard cut-outs of Lee Pace and Judy Greer that either stand around as the Great Dane lumbers by or knocks them off their perch.
The far more intriguing question here might be to ask what studio executive thought it would be a good idea to greenlight a picture based on a comic-strip character that no kid today has ever heard of? Of course, the end result isn’t even worth the time it takes to consider that question, let alone an answer. Grade: D