Hi folks. See, I’m trying to be regular again. I’m eating yogurt, exercising, drinking water, and writing synopses of the (mostly) crap movies I watch more often than I have over the last 10 months. I am hoping this will be the one stop shop for reviews and synopses of the Air Bud cinematic universe for years to come.
Welcome back to Fernfield, where anything is possible. Well maybe not anything…but there certainly seems to be a higher chance of absurd things happening in this city than in others.
Josh is back in action with his dog. However, this movie didn’t go to theaters so there appears to be a decrease in production value. The movie just feels older than the first movie and takes on a darker color pallet. Reminder, this is also a new Air Bud actor so it is possible that the dog had a new creative vision for his role.
Unlike Air Bud: Ball is Life, this film takes a BOLD direction with camera angles. They take every opportunity to perform goofy shots and dutch angles despite this being a feel good movie. This isn’t even mentioning the use of the pan-zoom to weird effect. I don’t know why, but they are trying to make me feel like this is a creepy movie while a poor man’s mission impossible theme plays in the background.
Anyway, the family goes to an actual adult basketball game. Air Bud snuck? Sneaked? into the car, and then broke out so he could watch the game. However, of course he ends up on the court chasing the ball around. However, he bests these adults at basketball instead of children. Is Air Bud the greatest athlete in America? We may find out by the end of the 5 Air Bud movies (the other 9 movies are not focused on Air Bud). They do more stupid and dumb angles, the refs are befuddled, its a whole to-do.
The kid’s dweeby bowl cut friend from the first movie states something creepy. The best thing about 8th grade is that the girls have turned into women. JESUS CHRIST DUDE, who was that horny in 8th grade? He also is planning to try out for football to get chicks, so that is how we get into football. Specifically he wants to woo one girl in particular. Will he do it? You’ll have to read to find out.
Russian circus time, these are the villains in this movie. Ah, I miss 1998, when Russians were bad guys. Anyway, the existence of their circus necessitates other skilled animals. Also according to news reports these animals were all stolen.
The mom starts dating again (remember, the father died before Air Bud and his soul is now trapped within the dog). This new guy is a real charmer and has the mom legitimately conflicted. They shoot this scene as though she is talking to a long time friend about her relationship issues, but nope its the dog she is explaining this to. Her dead husband dog, think about it.
The mom starts dating the veterinarian from earlier. The two of them are going out on a date and he brings over a football, mentioning that football is the way to a woman’s heart. Yes, we are this far into the movie and we haven’t really done a lot of footballing. Josh isn’t a big fan of the handegg and leaves it in the garage, of course Air Bud (remember he was only tortured to play basketball) golden retrieves the football because of course.
The Russians take an ice cream truck to try and find the dog. I would recommend never trusting anyone with a goofy vehicle with something on the roof, this is clearly an homage to OG Air Bud.
Josh and his goofy friend are playing catch with the football, air bud is just running around like a dog. Then Josh throws the ball like a champ, and it somehow hits our Russians and knocks them both down a hill into the lake because magic.
Josh sees his mother and the new guy being close, and Josh decides to try out for football so he doesn’t have to see them? Or because he wants attention from his mother. GROW UP JOSH
A mandatory montage is provided which depicts how bad all the kids are at everything they do. But somehow a dog is going to fix this team’s problems?
Josh and his dweeb friend stop by the vet/mom’s boo. He is still eating the damned pudding cup because nobody here is normal. They convince him to take Air Bud to get an X-Ray so they can snoop on the vet. This is an expensive procedure, even for a dog, I think… Do they have dog insurance? Is the vet doing this as a favor?
Josh actually has a cannon for an arm, and by that I mean every shot of him throwing the ball it is clearly shot out of a cannon. Air Bud catches the ball because he has jaws of steel, and he is an ideal receiver due to his mastery of keepaway. Earlier in this movie Air Bud bested grown men, I don’t imagine middle schoolers will be hard.
Now comes the pressure. The school board is not a fan of the lack of success of their middle school football program, and are letting the coach go if they don’t have a winning season. Meanwhile the locker room itself is small and the kids are weird. The starting QB is doing curls while a lineman is repeatedly slamming his forehead against his locker. Why? Because he wants to get the CTE started early.
Josh is the backup QB, so he is just chilling on the bench, but the star QB goes down with an injury. Cut to the Russians chasing after Air Bud while in the ice cream truck, while kids are chasing after the ice cream truck. It’s a dog eat dog world. The dog somehow finds the football field.
Josh doesn’t know how to quarterback, but at least he can throw the ball. Its essentially the plot to Longshot on Madden 18. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THE GOOFY CAMERA ANGLES ARE BACK!
Anyway, air bud catches a pass and everyone loses their shit as though they didn’t know this dog has bested kids at sports before. He scores a touchdown. There wasn’t any sort of debate over whether that was legal despite him not being a registered player on the team. He just came out of the stands and caught the pass. It’s the definition of cheating. But whatever, I guess. Josh says that dogs can’t play football, because its different than basketball. But fuck the rules. Air bud is the new wide receptor.
The coach is okay with it, because fuck everything. I can guarantee that every sports association in the country changed their rules after the first movie to disallow dogs from playing sports, but maybe they didn’t think a dog could ever play football.
They have a band, seriously what middle school has a marching band, and instead choose to have somehow shout the national anthem at the top of their lungs. This literally makes fun of the national anthem, or at least it being sung at sporting events. Personally I am of the opinion that we play the national anthem far too often, middle school athletics doesn’t need it. However, in this movie they intend to have a lady shout the national anthem poorly, and everyone grimaces. Think of how the veterans felt, watching them disgrace the national anthem like that. Its far worse than anything the current NFL players are doing, yet I didn’t see a temper tantrum thrown 20 years ago about this. Maybe it’s because she is white, I don’t know, it’s just a guess.
Anyway, back to this movie. It is gameday, the other team does not seem to care that a football playing dog is on the field. Instead, it’s a joke to them. Which it should be, but also not something that should be allowed. The dog scores a touchdown on the first play, nothing matters anymore. No one can stop this dog despite having a few feet height advantage on it. The team doesn’t have a defense though and are somehow losing despite being unable to stop Air Bud.
The team fumbles it, but air bud then strips the ball from the other player and runs almost all the way down the field before everyone dog piles on the dog killing it. PSYCH! They don’t jump on the dog and they miss, but the ref waited for dramatic effect to call the touchdown as Air Bud celebrated in the end zone. Also, there are too many people from the green team on the field, but the rules of football are arbitrary and up to interpretation CLEARLY.
This movie has a lot more sportsplaying, so it has that going for it. But still, why is no one arguing about a dog playing in these games? Like, no kid is able to stop this dog. If this dog ever gets tackled its dead.
The vet proposes to Josh’s mom, in response Josh Can’t Even and runs away. Meanwhile the Russians kidnap Air Bud. I truly think 30% of these movies are just people trying to kidnap Air Bud. The coach happens to run into the kid, and convinces him to not run away to San Francisco to play basketball. Yes, he is eating during this scene.
So now it’s the state finals in football and they are going up against, what appears to be, the prison guard team from The Longest Yard. Worse yet, they have to face them WITHOUT AIR BUD, there is no hope for victory. Switch to Air Bud, he is in the Russian prison circus. The animals communicate sortof, and break out. Back to the game, and it isn’t going well. Josh forgot how to football, and gives up a scoop-n-score. Really, this wasn’t a designed run.
At halftime the coach gives a pep talk. The essence of this talk is that belief can overcome anything. If you can believe a dog can play football then you can believe in a comeback. The team goes full Mighty Ducks and starts “ruffing” (rather than quacking). I’m not kidding, there is no PSYCH coming. Even as a Browns fan I find this lame.
Due to the newfound belief the team begins playing better. Also the refs are clueless at their job and begin allowing horse collar tackles because fuck safety. Cut to the Russians, remember them? The animals defeat the Russians by dumping fish guts on them. How? Well there was a tank full of fish guts, and the monkey opens it. Of course!
The monkey then tries to kill them by running them over with the ice cream truck. Instead it knocks over a light post which sparks and ignites a bunch of fireworks. The dog escapes the building and is pursued by the Russians, who have regained control of the ice cream truck. As with the first movie, the brakes aren’t working at an inopportune time. This is a lesson to everyone, get your brakes checked.
They instead slam into the pier and fly out the windshield (which they opened up) and land on a boat. They should be dead, along with the clown from the first movie. However, they survive and demand to be taken to the Russian embassy. Oh wait, there is still a football game going on.
At the start of the 4th quarter, the team is only down 35-10, which is a lot better than I expected. Then, out of nowhere, Air Bud shows up dressed to play. The new dad dressed the dog. The team goes into overdrive and starts scoring touchdowns at will.
Remember in the first movie when Larry fouled the dog? That was rude but not inhumane. Well, in this movie someone literally tackles Air Bud. Fortunately there is a vet in the house, he confirms that Air Bud is okay. This almost inspired Air Bud 3: Dog’s Not Dead.
The refs are playing hard and loose with the rules (again), beyond allowing a dog to play. The team go to their go to play on 4th down to win the game, B-52, the crossing pattern. Air Bud is alright and is cheering them on, which gives them confidence. The play is ridiculous and involves the wide receptor tackling his DB and then getting up to run 60 yards in 6 seconds. Meanwhile Josh is doing his best Troy Smith impression, dodging defenders in the backfield, and chucks it 60 yards even though he is in middle school. They win the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember when the goofy kid wanted to score? and that is why he decided to join the football team? Well, after not acknowledging this subplot for the entire movie they bring it back. The girl he is after says he has potential, so that means he is on second base essentially, right? Also, I hope you know that there is a baseball air bud movie review coming.
Fortunately this movie doesn’t end with a court room drama scene like the other one. The new dad was going to ride off into the sunset on his boat because Josh didn’t accept him, hes a good guy. But Josh gets his attention and they embrace because he did accept him at last. How sweet.
This is when the movie goes off the rails. The gang is at a Seahawks vs 49ers game and Josh says that Warren Moon should throw the ball to Joey Galloway on 3rd and 3. They throw the ball, but here comes Air Bud off the sideline. He runs onto the field and catches the ball. That is the end, roll credits. Fuck you.
This sequel to Air Bud is a step down in almost every way. The realism is lost because Air Bud is playing the sport throughout most of the season (to no protest by other teams), and is playing a sport that would be harder for a dog to play. The ball had to be severely deflated for Air Bud to grip it with his mouth. The cinematography is bonkers as well, they don’t have a consistent style throughout the film. However, it does touch on some serious issues, such as the perspective of a son dealing with this loss of his father and a new man coming in to his mother’s life. Fortunately this HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE IN A MOVIE LIKE HOLY CRAP THIS ISN’T OVERDONE AT ALL.
34/100 It is not the worst film on earth, it just falls into being a cliche tornado.
Death Count 3
I theorize the kid is from Oregon initially because he has a Blazers picture in his locker despite living in Supersonics territory.
Everyone in this town loves vanilla pudding, even the vet is eating it while treating dogs.
The coach is always eating, except in one scene.
I might write an air bud porn screenplay when I’m done with these movies.
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