Russell Madness full movie review - 'Russell Madness' is hands down the BEST movie I've ever seen that features a talking wrestling dog and a talking monkey for a wrestling manager.
'Russell Madness' is hands down the BEST movie I've ever seen that features a talking wrestling dog and a talking monkey for a wrestling manager.
Not only that, this film has Will Sasso, John Ratzenberger, and Fred Willard lending their talents to the film. Not all is lost. Remember that film from 1997 called 'Air Bud', about a golden retriever dog who could play basketball and win championships?
Well the same people who made that, made 'Russell Madness', which comes to no surprise as the first 'Air Bud' film made almost $30 million on a $3 million budget. Not only that, since 1997, the 'Air Bud' people have made dozens of sequels featuring talking animals that play sports and win big. Heck, they even opened their own studio to make these types of films, most of which are direct-to-video. One thing is for sure with each of these films is that this studio knows the formula that works, and that formula is geared to kids under eight years old.
Yes, 'Russell Madness' is about a talking dog who wrestles WWE style and has a talking monkey named Hunk (Sasso) for a manager. But let's start at the beginning shall we? The dog in question is named Russell and is in fact a russell terrier breed who now lives in a pets store. I guess the creative people at the pet store were gone that day when naming a russell terrier, Russell. Nobody wants to take Russell home, because he literally pees on each kid that holds him, which is symbolic here as this movie might just be urinating in our face too.
The big bad pet store leaves Russell in a glass cage of emotions with no food or water, but luckily he escapes and runs for some sausage. (I'm not kidding.) He then, is chased by a bigger dog who chases him into a wrestling ring where Russell lays the SMACKDOWN on a giant human wrestler. For all I know, Russell killed the guy, because we never see that wrestler again. Soon enough the Ferraro family sees Russell on the street and take him in as their own. The Ferraro family are dealing with the death of their grandfather, who was once a pro-wrestler who worked with a monkey, and owned a wrestling arena before his death. He passed the arena down to his family on a the condition that they take one year to try and make a profit, promoting wrestling shows. If not, the family can flip it and sell it.
This is where monkey meets dog and the odd partnership is born. We have training montages with a monkey riding a segway and forcing poor Russell to pay him in bananas only. There is even a road trip sequence with the father, the monkey, and the dog where the monkey says, "What happens on the road, stays on the road." I laughed so hard, I cried thinking about what these three did while on the road, promoting wrestling shows. John Ratzenberger plays the Vince McMahon role here and might have something sinister up his sleeve, while Fred Willard plays his usual wrestling announcer/commentator role.
None of it makes any sense really, then again, all of it makes total sense. 'Russell Madness' never really has a whole lot of suspense, nor does the dialogue pass over the cheese mountain, but kids will sure enjoy this movie. And if you're a parent who loves to see your kid laugh and smile, and are able to make light of a fairly terrible film, then this movie is for you, as it's definitely the BEST movie you'll ever see with a talking dog and monkey who love to give 'Stone Cold Stunners' to everyone who come in their path.