With Victorian pictures of canines throughout the centuries, Man’s Best Friend is already laughably pretentious. The insistently obtrusive and downright ear-ravaging score from Joel Goldsmith is another misstep. Writer-director of the equally underwhelming Child’s Play 2, John Lafia is utterly tone-deaf and the film teeters uncomfortably near spoof territory if only it wasn’t so staggeringly lumpen.
Ally Sheedy is pathetically miscast as the chain-smoking investigative journalist who is ravenous about an animal-cruelty expose at the EMAX facilities. Not once does she exhibit the role’s frigid instinct for a story. Is this a Zucker Bros. parody of an animal-on-the-loose B-movie? Max is beyond sentient and his cyborg abilities are preternaturally risible. For instance, Max is adroit at invisibility and he swallows a cat whole.
Every scene is an unintentionally, howlingly funny riot such as when Lori (Sheedy) is infiltrating on the lab and one of the cage is labelled “goner” and a monkey is affixed with an excoriated-brain prosthetic. Then the fickle pitch of the movie fluctuates into the schmaltzy domestic section in which Lori is domesticating Max. Both dichotomies of the movie are excruciating to endure.
The dog’s eye dilates in jaundiced envy as he is voyeuristic on her intercourse through a bedroom peephole. Later, he severs the brakes on Lori’s paramour’s car. The most preposterous albeit jocose quantum leap in the science-fiction tampering is that Max can urinate a corrosive acid on his prey.
Goldsmith’s interminable composition and the screenplay almost beseech comparisons to a direct-to-video Full Moon production but even that studio wouldn’t gestate an abomination like this. On top of that, Lance Henriksen’s vein-popping intensity (“We’re sitting on a time bomb”) can’t polish this moronic jalopy and it is a shame to witness his investment splurged on this.