Hounded (2001)

Hounded (2001)

I’ve discussed Hounded in a couple other spots on this website, but I’ll watch a Tahj Mowry project any day! He plays Jay Martin, a talented middle schooler who doesn’t want to go to military school like his older brother did. Jay is competing for a scholarship to go to an arts school, but there’s one big problem: Shia LaBeouf cheats in the contest. LaBeouf plays Ronny Van Dusen, son of the headmaster (Ed Begley, Jr). Ronny’s dad is forcing him to give a speech for the competition, and Ronny steals Jay’s cue cards, which were confiscated due to inappropriate sketches of Principal Van Dusen. Ronny takes the podium and gives Jay’s speech verbatim.

Jay is dejected about a missed opportunity, and he overhears Ronny admit to stealing the cue cards! Things get even weirder, as Jay tries to get to the bottom of things by going to the Van Dusens’ house, and their dog follows him home. Camille is a Pomeranian who is used to being pampered, so after a night without her medicine, she goes bonkers and destroys Jay’s home. His brother arrives from military school while their mom is away, and Jay pretends he is dog-sitting, but the truth slowly comes out.

The brothers hatch a plan to return the pooch and get even, but it isn’t easy, since Camille is really clingy. The headmaster is on the war path to get this dog back, so much of the comedy comes from transactions in which the dog is supposed to be returned. You really have to see the movie to appreciate the saga with the dog, but in the end, Jay gets his scholarship, and Ronny goes to military school. If you look closely, you’ll notice a young Olesya Rulin in this movie, and Sara Paxton plays Jay’s wheelchair-bound best friend.

Hounded was written by Don Calame and Chris Conroy, and directed by Neal Israel. It’s an emotional story of two brothers, it’s a rousing doggy tale (yep, there are a lot of dog DCOMs), and it’s a peek at military school before Cadet Kelly.

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