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Beethoven's 4th
2001 - G - 93 Mins.
Director: David Mickey Evans
Producer: Kelli Konop
Written By: John Loy
Starring: Judge Reinhold, Julia Sweeney, Joe Pichler
Review by: John Ulmer
   

How does this DOG get a bigger trailer than Judge Reinhold?
"Beethoven's 4th" is the kind of movie that makes one wonder what the point was of the film, other than cashing in one something that once was.

Judge Reinhold returns to the role of Richard Newton, seen in the 2000 straight-to-video (and rightly so!) flop. Julia Sweeney, once famous for her place on "Saturday Night Live," reprises the Beth Newton Persona, and there are two very bad-acting children in the film, also.

This awful sequel deals with Richard Newton watching Beethoven for his brother (once played by the much-better Charles Grodin) while they go on a family vacation. Unfortunately for both Richard and the audience, the millionth time Beethoven drinks out of the toilet bowl it makes everyone a bit mad, so they take him to training class, where he accidentally switches places with a rich man's (Matt McCoy) Saint Bernard unknowningly. When Rich Man's dog comes back to the Newton's, they are astonished at the fact that he is finally obeying his masters...the only problem is that now Beethoven is over at the Rich Man's House, caught with The Rich Man's Snooty Daughter and the Quiet Elderly Butler. How will Beethoven ever get back?

Quite honestly, I couldn't care less whether Beethoven makes it home or gets run over by a steam-roller. Let's put it this way: I really enjoyed the original "Beethoven" film written by the King of the Eighties, John Hughes. The second was a bit contrived, and was cashing in on the original a bit, but it still had its moments. This mind-numbingly bad sequel, however, is a follow-up to an already mind-numbingly bad third instalment. By this time, I've seen so much Beethoven I don't really care what happens. Perhaps if Charles Grodin was in it I'd still enjoy the series.

Perhaps if the script was intelligent and witty, and not the equivalent of EVERY family film that comes out nowadays, I'd like it. Just perhaps.

But somewhere along the line in this world of cashing-in on superior originals, "Beethoven" lost the charm, wit and talent it once had and is now a snore-fest. Really, it went from a pleasant and enjoyable family comedy to a kids' movie with dumb dialogue, dumb situations, dumb characters, etc...the whole dumb works. It's almost like it's a whole other film saga. Or is it?

"Beethoven's 4th" gets 1/5 from me--it's weak, pathetic, has lost its charm (two sequels ago), and is filled with kiddie-film material and ultimately no intelligence whatsoever. The film execs who gave the go-ahead on this one were looking for one thing: Money.

Avoid this flop and see an intelligent family film, like 2001's "Monsters, Inc." That movie was good. This one isn't.
 
Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

 
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