A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
I talk to my cats a good deal, but only when nobody's around and never with the thought that they can understand me. If the hero of "K-9" had adopted a similar approach to his dog, this might have been a better movie. Instead, we start with a standard drug movie and end up with so many monologues to the dog that the dialogue coach must have needed a pooper scooper.
The film stars James Belushi as a San Diego narcotics detective who likes to work alone. He's your standard-issue eccentric loner, a guy who orders take-out pizzas to be delivered to his car during stakeouts and then heats them up with his cigarette lighter. He's got the goods on a big drug dealer and thinks he knows how to intercept a major dope delivery. When the dealer destroys Belushi's car with a helicopter attack, Belushi asks for a new car. His boss says he has to accept a partner. Belushi wants to work alone. He settles for the only partner he can stand: a police dog.
The movie up until this point has been such a relentlessly predictable collection of drug-movie cliches that the dog comes as a relief. Somewhere in Hollywood, they must have a data bank used by the authors of all thrillers involving drugs. How else can you explain the fact that these movies always feature a) a helicopter attack, usually in the opening scenes; b) a Mr. Big who dresses impeccably, speaks in civilized tones and is honored at charity events when he is not running drugs; c) several vicious henchmen; d) a large warehouse that is the setting for drug busts and shoot-outs, and e) large fleets of very expensive automobiles with blacked-out windows.
If the crime elements in "K-9" are routine, the relationship between Belushi and the dog at least has the courage to be goofy.