Like a scrubbed-up werewolf film for kids, this remake of the 1959 family feature sees dog-hating Deputy DA Dave Douglas (Tim Allen) turning into a shaggy mutt at regular intervals. Scratching his ears, growling and chasing after cats may be a tad inconvenient when it comes to his court appearances, but Dave’s newfound canine status does give him a unique insight into the evil plans of Dr Kozak (Robert Downey Jr), who’s performing experiments on animals in an attempt to find the secret of eternal life. So goes the protracted plot of this comedy (the reasons for Dave’s transformation are equally pointless and best left undescribed here). Allen’s broad physical comedy is very occasionally amusing – let’s face it, kids will laugh at anyone acting like a dog – but while Downey’s greedy scientist has potential, the film’s targeting of a young audience prevents any indulgence of the darker possibilities of its conspiracy plot. The result is mediocre and unnecessarily complicated.