Benji the Hunted | Chicago Reader

Benji the Hunted

Lost in the woods and attacked by wild things great and small, the intrepid house pet becomes the protector of a quartet of mountain lion cubs. Benji's slavering devotion to categorical duty (he deliberately avoids being rescued until his furry charges are safe) ranks him among the great Kantian moralists of the screen, though the corresponding suppression of canine instinct should leave some Darwinian tongues hanging (and do we really want our yuppoid kiddies exposed to such masochistic example?). Director Joe Camp, the inspirational hand behind the Benji series, shows some remarkable logistic skills in setting up his scenes, and the wilderness photography is never less than impressive, but there ought to be more to harmless entertainment than following wagging tails across the screen. Some formidable displays of technique here, but the treacly anthropomorphism makes it all seem trivial and wasted. A Disney Pictures release.

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