Though "K-9" has its amusing moments early on, for the most part this is a ridiculous blend of violence and comedy, with overly familiar plot turns.
Like "Disorganized Crime" a couple of weeks ago, "K-9" is also oddly adult in its sensibilities for a film that is otherwise so juvenile. In other words, it's too raunchy for kids but too childish for adults.
The plot has maverick cop James Belushi going after a drug lord, but Belushi is so wild no other cop will be partnered with him, and his superiors have ordered him off the case. Needless to say, he goes after the bad guy anyway, with added fervor after his girlfriend is kidnapped.
But hold on — before you start thinking this has all been done before, let's be fair and note that Belushi's a police detective in San Diego, not Los Angeles.
The twist here is that Belushi takes on a K-9 pooch as his partner, a drug-sniffing German shepherd police dog that is played up as so intelligent Belushi is actually prompted to carry on lengthy dialogue with him. The dog has touched Belushi in a way people don't, you see — he can't talk this well to people.
Soon Belushi comes to think of the animal as his real police partner to such a degree that "K-9" begins to look more like "Lassie" than "Lethal Weapon."
And therein lies the anachronism.
Most of this byplay is so childish and silly, as is most of the slapstick humor, that kids would probably enjoy it most — but because of the violence, sexual content and profanity (the film is rated PG-13), most parents will probably want to steer their youngsters away from it.
And one more thing.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think Belushi is starting to look and sound more and more like Bill Murray?