Chuck Norris teams with a canine in the redundant buddy-cop action picture, Top Dog. Taking its cues from Turner & Hooch, K-9, and Beethoven, this wanna-be family friendly action flick just doesn’t work. The cheap looking production resembles an episode of Norris’ long-running television series Walker, Texas Ranger. Directed by his brother, Arron Norris, Top Dog lacks well-staged action sequences, comedic beats, or any chemistry between actors and animals.
Jake Wilder (Chuck Norris) is a wild-man, one-man-army cop. He’s gone rogue ever since a gangster murdered his partner in a shootout. Now, the police captain has assigned Wilder a new partner, in the form of a brainy, mischievous canine named Reno. Naturally, the two are at odds but a bond develops and before too long the pair are fighting a radical white supremacist group. Yes, racism and terrorist activity are front and center in what had been advertised as a kids movie.
That’s the rub on Top Dog, it’s too childish for Norris’ fan-base and way too violent for younger audiences. Maybe this will play for the 12 year set, all others avoid this dog. Particularly of disappointment as this was the last Norris film to achieve wide-spread theatrical distribution. It was a unmagnanimous ending to a solid big-screen career.
Director: Aaron Norris
Stars: Chuck Norris,Michele Lamar Richards, Timothy Botttoms