Turner & Hooch is a comedy drama buddy cop film starring Tom Hanks as Scott Turner, and Beasley the dog as Hooch. This movie was filmed in 1989 and follows a to-the-book detective who is about to leave his small town investigators position for a position in Sacramento. Three days before Turner is suppose to leave his friend Amos Reed, a local junk yard owner, is murdered. This leaves Turner to take care of the only witness to the crime, Amos’ dog Hooch.
Turner acts as your typical professional cop who follows all the rules. You begin the film by watching Turner go through his OCD style morning routine, where everything must be just right. This later comes into play when Turner acquires Hooch who is a slobbery, messy, large breed dog. This relationship is where the bulk of the comedy in this film comes into play as you watch Turner and Hooch battle things out with each other. As the end of the film approaches you can see the relationship that has grown between the two, and how they have each improved each other’s life. As hooch becomes a bigger part of Turners life you can see Turner become more relaxed, first noted when he doesn’t wear a tie to work the first time.
Turner & Hooch is a spin on the buddy cop theme where you have Turner as your professional and Hooch as your messy rule breaker. This film did very well when it was released however I felt that it was very slow at points and had a rather predictable plot. Of course this is probably partially due to the fact that this movie is 25 years old, and has a theme that has been done numerous times since. I had never even heard of this movie before I had watched it, so giving credit to it for any originality it possessed was difficult as I have seen so many movies like this that have been released after 1989.
As I said before this movie was received very well and still is generally regarded as a good movie, which I can understand why, however I personally did not enjoy this film. The first 50 minutes felt like they dragged a very predictable story line around all while having Turner treat the dog poorly. Now if it was a person in place of a dog I would not have minded as much, and I do see the appeal behind it, but to me I didn’t like it as I would never treat a dog like that. Now after the 50 minute mark the film really starts to pick up, as you have Turner become more relaxed and you get to witnesses the relationship between the two develop. As I was watching this part it really had turned my opinion of the movie around, and I was prepared to give it a generally good rating, until...
Hooch dies in the end. I can’t stand when movies treat dog characters as secondary to people, and honestly watching Hooch die really ruined this movie for me. His death did not really add anything to the movie, other than a few minutes for Turner to show some emotion, and all of that emotion is negated by the quick turnaround to a happy Turner with a new puppy. Now I understand how this shows how much Hooch meant to Turner and the impact he had on his life but to me it made Hooch feel like more of a plot object then a character. They could have had the same happy ending if they had just had Hooch have puppies, that way they could have been bugging Hooch like he bugged Turner, all while making a mess of Turner’s house.
A Generous 4/10 – Chris