It may be a Tom Hanks movie, but Hooch, a smelly, slobbery Mastiff, was the runaway star of the film. It was an instant success when it came out.
Hanks plays Turner, an anal retentive detective in a small California town. When a local man is murdered by drug smugglers, the only witness is Hooch. Suspecting that Hooch might be able to identify the killer, Turner unwillingly takes Hooch into his meticulous home.
It doesn’t stay meticulous for long as Hooch goes on a drooling and demolition binge.
There really isn’t much of a plot. There are a series of funny sequences between the two unlikely roommates as Turner is intent on showing “Why man will prevail and your kind will never dominate the earth.”
Predictably Turner and Hooch develop a warm human-dog chemistry.
Then for reasons known only to the film makers, they decide to make an action-melodrama movie out of the ending. When Turner is hopelessly outmaneuvered by the bad guys, Hooch steps in and goes all kamikaze to save his life.
Turner and Hooch unfortunately has an Old Yeller ending which seems out of keeping with the rest of the movie.
Don’t be alarmed though, Hooch has left behind a bunch of adorable puppies that are supposed to make us all feel better at the end. It didn’t work with Old Yeller and it doesn’t work here.
Hooch is played by Beasley, a Dogue de Bordeaux or French Mastiff, in his only starring role.