Screenwriter Martin Olmedo recycled Disney's live-action comedy formulas to come up with this inconsequential family adventure. The product of a broken home, Ryan Burke (Braden Parkes) looks forward to spending the summer with his cool dad, Ned Burke (Thomas Garner). Unfortunately, astronomy professor Ned's career collides with his son’s arrival in San Dimas, Calif.; forced to take on an increased course load, Ned will be busy for much of the summer and Ryan will be spending his vacation with his beloved golden retriever, Jupiter. Ryan doesn't fit in with sporty local kids like Kyle Moore (Graham Spillman) and Lisa Harrington (Callie Waterman), pint-sized bicyclists who seem to be aiming for Olympic-caliber proficiency. But when dog-nappers lure Jupiter away, the kids pitch in and help out. Lisa uses her computer skills to create professional-looking "missing dog" posters, and the kids designate themselves "the bike squad" and join Ryan’s search. Rumors about missing strays lead the children to step up their efforts; hoping to lure the crooks into the open, they place a fake newspaper ad offering to return a "lost" dog to its rightful owners. Once the bike squad have determined the identities of the bungling canine crooks, they trace them to Harrington Labs. Resident Harrington research scientist Mr. Jackson (Michael McConnohie) lies outright to the youngsters, claiming to know nothing about Jupiter when he's using the dog to test a new anesthetic, so Ryan turns to his father for help. But Jackson dupes Mr. Burke, and the kids's daring raid on the research center proves futile and foolhardy; wily Jackson simply moves Jupiter to a secret location. When Jackson kidnaps Ryan's buddies, Ryan must marshal all his resources to rescue both the kids and the kidnapped dogs. Richard Gabai's flimsy domestic comedy is little more than an excuse for bland action shenanigans and slapstick interludes, but dog- and/or bike-loving kids may enjoy it.
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- Released: 2003
- Rating: PG
- Review: Screenwriter Martin Olmedo recycled Disney's live-action comedy formulas to come up with this inconsequential family adventure. The product of a broken home, Ryan Burke (Braden Parkes) looks forward to spending the summer with his cool dad, Ned Burke (Thom… (more)