Firehouse Dog is a 2007 American family film produced by Regency Enterprises and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Directed by Todd Holland, it stars Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Dash Mihok, Steven Culp and Bill Nunn. It was released April 6, 2007, in the U.S.
|Directed by||Todd Holland|
|Written by||Claire-Dee Lim|
|Produced by||Michael J. Maschio|
|Edited by||Scott J. Wallace|
|Music by||Jeff Cardoni|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2015)
Dog superstar Rexxx lives the high life-with adoring crowds, a loving owner and an array of best-selling blockbusters under his belt. However, when his owner, Trey (Dash Mihok) tries to convince him to perform a skydiving stunt, the plane malfunctions and Rexxx is sent tumbling from the sky, landing in a tomato truck. Whilst Trey mourns his apparent death and begins to regret not treating him like a 'real dog', Rexxx settles into an abandoned warehouse, desperately missing his owner.
Meanwhile in the City of South Harbor in Lincoln County, Shane Fahey (Josh Hutcherson) is struggling with the death of his Uncle, Capt. Marc Fahey (Randy Triggs), and Blue (The former "Firehouse Dog") after being trapped in a fire in a disused Textile Mill. Realizing he forgot to study for a test, Shane ditches school, but is quickly caught by two other firefighters, Lionel and new recruit Terrence (Scotch Ellis Loring and Teddy Sears). Arriving back at the fire station in disgrace, he is chastised by both Driver Joe (Bill Nunn) and his father Connor (Bruce Greenwood), the recently promoted Captain of the station, who is having problems of his own; the station 'Dogpatch', home to Engine 55 & Rescue 26, is about to be closed due to a lack of funding, less infrastructure remaining around the station, and overall bad publicity. However, before Connor can properly address his son's problems, "Dogpatch" is called out to put out a fire in a warehouse-Shane is reluctantly dragged along. Because of how badly maintained Engine 55's engine is, they arrive last. Although the fire is quickly put out, Shane notices a terrified Rexxx balancing on top of the burning building; Connor manages to rescue him, and orders Shane to put up 'Lost Dog' flyers. Due to the name on his collar, which is a prop from the filming at the time of Rexxx's accident, the station renames the dog 'Dewey', and keeps him at the station until someone comes to claim him.
Whilst city manager Zachary Hayden (Steven Culp) reminds Connor of the station's upcoming shutdown, Shane struggles to cope with Dewey's spoilt needs and strange habits. Realizing that the dog is fast and active, Shane enters him in a firefighter's competition, where they are pitted against rival fire station Engine 24 Greenpoint. Although Dewey initially beats Greenpoint's record score, he is distracted by their dog, who reminds him of his time in stardom. Despite losing the competition, Shane and Dewey begin to bond.
The next morning, Engine 55 is called out to a tunnel collapse. Everyone had been evacuated upon their arrival, but Capt. Fahey spots that Greenpoint's captain, Jessie Presley (Claudette Mink), is unnacounted for and initiates a Solo Primary Search inside. Connor rushes into the wreckage, and Shane, fearing for his father's safety, allows Dewey to run in after him. Dewey manages to alert Connor to Jessie's presence, subsequently saving her life. Following this, Engine 55 begins to gain popularity, as they realize that Dewey could become a potential firehouse dog. Due to their sudden increase in popularity, Zachary eagerly notifies them that the station is saved.
However, Shane's excitement is lost when he discovers his father has moved to his uncle's former office. Angered that his dad is trying to take his uncle's place, he roots through the files, where he discovers an unnerving number of suspected arsons, all in the general area that station 55 is responsible for. Upset that Shane felt he was being neglected, Connor makes an effort to reconcile with his son, and is shocked when Shane reveals that he feels like a bad person for being relieved when he discovered it was his uncle who died instead of his father. Later on that night, Dewey is awarded a medal for his bravery at a firefighter's gala. However, he ends up reuniting with Trey upon spotting him amongst the attendees: Connor reluctantly allows an ecstatic Trey to keep the dog, much to Shane's distraught.
A few hours later, however, Dewey escapes Trey's hotel room to chase after Engine 55, which was recently called out to another fire at a Harbor garbage barge. The team is only too happy to allow him to climb on board. At the harbour they're struggling to put the fire out as Engine 55 can only handle up to a 1 1⁄2 inch line. Meanwhile, Shane returns to the station to discover that the fire Engine 55 was called out to was simply a decoy, so that the suspected arsonist could burn the "Dogpatch" station to the ground. Panicking, he calls his friend, Jasmine 'JJ' Presley (Hannah Lochner) to work out what to do, then becoming alerted of footsteps upstairs, which turn out to be the arsonist.
Ignoring JJ's warnings, he heads upstairs to confront the arsonist. To his horror, he realizes that the arsonist is in fact city manager Zach Hayden, who wanted to burn buildings in order to build a football stadium for Corbin Sellars (Matt Cooke) - killing Shane's uncle in the process. After Engine 55's closure was denied, he had no choice but to burn the station down himself, but didn't realize that Shane was still in the building. As the two become trapped inside the burning building when Zachary's incendiary device ignites a gas line and the Firefighters den is on fire, the room where Zach and Shane are batting over fire extinguisher, the ceiling explodes and the fire from upstairs has spread throughout, Zachary calls for Shane who is unconscious, Zach gives up getting a response from Shane and then leaves Shane in the room unconscious.
Meanwhile, Dewey - sensing that Shane is in danger - races back to the station as Connor follows behind, having been alerted to the fire by Jessie, who was also at the harbor fire and called by her daughter JJ. Dewey finds Zachary trying to escape, and traps him in a phone booth (which he also escapes from) before finding Shane in the room he was unconscious in, Dewey revives him by licking him, when Shane wakes up and he sees Dewey, he and Dewey try to find a way out of the burning fire station. Connor arrives on the scene, only to find the station completely inaccessible. Hearing Dewey's barking, he eventually manages to break down the garage door and finds Shane terrified on the other side of a locked door of the fire house Kitchen inside the burning station. Shane manages to convince him to pass him his axe through some broken glass so he can try to break the hinges himself, despite the risks of letting the fire get fresh oxygen and flashover; Dewey then leads them out. Shane manages to tell Connor about Zach’s arson attacks before he is put on oxygen. Furious, Connor confronts Zach for endangering his family, and Pep gets her own payback on him before the other Dogpatch firefighters hand Zach over to the police to be arrested.
Corbin Sellars' scam is exposed and he is arrested as well. Following the events of the fire, all of the firefighters of Engine 55 are awarded medals, including Shane and Dewey. Upon seeing how happy Dewey is with them, Trey allows Shane to keep him, adding that now that Dewey has been a true hero, he won't be content with just acting like one. Both Shane and Connor are overjoyed, with Dewey realizing his true potential as a firehouse dog. "Dogpatch" is repaired and restored from the fire damage it sustained, and Engine 55 receives a brand-new 900bhp engine so they won't be last to fires anymore. Dewey joins the engine crew as they head out on another call.
- Josh Hutcherson as Shane Fahey
- Bruce Greenwood as Firefighter/Captain Connor Fahey
- Dash Mihok as Trey Falcon
- Steven Culp as City Manager Zachary "Zach" Hayden
- Bill Nunn as Driver/Engineer Joe Musto - The Station Cook, Engine Driver & Pump Operator
- Bree Turner as Liz Knowles
- Scotch Ellis Loring as Firefighter Lionel Bradford
- Mayte Garcia as Firefighter Pep Clemente - The Station Mechanic
- Teddy Sears as Probie Firefighter Terrence Kahn
- Claudette Mink as Captain Jessie Presley
- Hannah Lochner as Jasmine "J.J." Presley
- Matt Cooke as City Chief Corbin Sellars
- Shane Daly as Firefighter Burr Baldwin
- Randy Triggs as Captain Marc Fahey
- Arwen, Frodo, Rohan, Stryder as Rexxx/Dewey the Dog
The building used to portray the fire station is located at 455 Cherry Street in Toronto. The garage section of the building was built specifically for the movie and was torn down after production. This area of Toronto has changed greatly since the movie was filmed.
The film was filmed in 2005 but was released in 2007. The DVD was released July 31, 2007. The Blu-ray was released 2012.
- USA and Canada: April 6, 2007
- Philippines: April 25, 2007 (Manila)
- Spain: June 8, 2007
- Philippines: June 20, 2007 (Davao)
- France: June 27, 2007
- UK: July 20, 2007
- Sweden: August 3, 2007
- Italy: August 10, 2007
- Belgium: August 22, 2007
- Malaysia: August 30, 2007
- Mexico: August 31, 2007
- Japan: September 1, 2007
- Colombia: October 12, 2007
- Russia: October 23, 2007 (DVD premiere)
- Iceland: November 7, 2007 (DVD premiere)
- Panama: November 9, 2007
- Poland: December 7, 2007
- Hungary: December 12, 2007 (DVD premiere)
- Argentina: January 16, 2008 (DVD premiere)
- Venezuela: February 22, 2008
Firehouse Dog received mainly mixed to negative reviews from film critics. From 82 critics, it garnered 38% positive reviews on the film-critic aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, and a 43/100 on Metacritic from 20 reviews. Justin Chang of Variety called it, "A likable but ungainly mutt of a movie". Ty Burr in The Boston Globe found "the human scenes in Firehouse Dog are perfectly acceptable on the level of a heartwarming family B-movie" but "that dog—or, rather, that digitally enhanced replicant—is just plain creepy". While Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer called it "a touching, family-friendly entertainment about a dog and his boy",
Chris Kaltenbach of The Baltimore Sun felt it was "too busy being inspirational and cuddly to be funny or pointed" and "plays out as though its plot was stuck in molasses". Frank Lovece of Film Journal International capped his review by suggesting that, "Firehouse Dog should be put to sleep before it can do the same to audiences". Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune (April 11, 2007) says: "Once it figures out it is more drama than comedy, "Firehouse Dog" exceeds your limited expectations....While the movie's ad campaign suggests wacky antics all the way, a surprisingly affecting and well-acted father/son relationship develops."
- "Internet Movie Database - List of Films shot in Hamilton, Ontario". Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- Variety (posted April 3, 2007): Review by Justin Change
- The Boston Globe (April 4, 2007): "'Firehouse Dog' needs some real warmth" (review by Ty Burr)
- The Philadelphia Inquirer (April 4, 2007): "From dog star to star of a boy's life" (review by Carrie Rickey)
- The Baltimore Sun (April 4, 2007): "'Dog': smoke, no fire and no new tricks" (review by Chris Kaltenbach)
- "Firehouse Dog": Review by Frank Lovece, Film Journal International, April 4, 2007.