Eight Below

Rated 2.0

The dogs in Eight Below are absolutely beautiful. They have major star power, look great on film and succeed in making the viewer care about their characters. They also act circles around their human co-stars in this flaccid Disney film that’s done in by the remarkably uncharismatic presence of Paul Walker and the eternally annoying Jason Biggs. Basically everything involving the dogs—abandoned in the arctic when a storm forces humans to bug out—is the stuff of good movies. The canines handle their screen time with nicely nuanced performances that require no narration and no subtitles. Their survival story is an intriguing one. Unfortunately, there’s also plenty of screen time dedicated to Walker and his character’s crusade to hitch a ride back to the Antarctic and save his pets. Walker is not an electrifying presence on screen, and he can inspire naps among those not taken by his matinee-idol looks. When the film breaks away from the meandering human storyline, it has life. The human stuff is a bore.