Directed by Brian Robbins, starring Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin, Danny Glover and Robert Downey Jr.

The awards season for 2006 may be over, but the release of 'The Shaggy Dog' already has us looking forward to next March. If this appalling excuse for a movie doesn't win something at the Razzies then we shall all have to admit that there is simply no justice in this world.

Tim Allen plays Dave Douglas, a Deputy District Attorney whose quest to succeed Ken Hollister (Glover) as the DA for Los Angeles has led him to grow distant from wife Rebecca (Davis) and their children Carly (Grey) and Josh (Breslin).

To delve any deeper into the plot would not only make watching the film totally unnecessary but would also be a complete waste of time. The upshot of it all is that Dave is injected with a serum which intermittently turns him into a dog. Seeing the world through canine eyes, the career-driven man realises the extent to which he has drifted from his loved ones.

The term 'family film' is all too often used to cover up the frailties of a poor but inoffensive movie. 'The Shaggy Dog' is a perfect example of this practice. Films that can entertain all the family do not have to be idiotic or play it safe all the time. Children can appreciate a good story that is well told. This pile of clichéd and contrived claptrap, however, is likely to bore the leggings off both kids and adults alike.

Speaking of adults, no person of voting age comes out of this smelling of roses. Allen is awful, and his voiceovers as a dog are incredibly annoying. Kristin Davis looks the part as a trophy wife but her prim-and-properness is becoming a touch old-hat at this stage. Danny Glover is mature enough to know better, and Robert Downey Jr eradicates much of the good work he did in 'Good Night, and Good Luck.'

The fact that this turkey isn't even original rubbish (it is derived from the 1959 Disney comedy of the same name) only serves to compound the illegitimacy of its existence.

Séamus Leonard