Making the Grades
Most Chuck Norris movies are star vehicles that are constructed very carefully to allow Norris to demonstrate his martial arts abilities on as many evil people as possible. Top Dog fits this mold perfectly. Directed by his son, Aaron Norris, the movie provides over ninety minutes of very good and very bad guys intermixed with lots of bullets, bombs, and a few bad words.
Norris plays a police officer that has been assigned a mangy mutt with spectacular crime fighting abilities for a partner. (Playing against Norris, the dog's a pretty good actor, too.) The two get off to a rocky start, but soon are on the trail of some mad bombers -- white supremacists who are trying to align with all the other white supremacy groups. They figure they can do this by shooting and bombing lots of people at an upcoming conference celebrating racial harmony.
The one thing I did enjoy about this movie was the way the director used the camera to appear as though we are seeing through the eyes of the dog. If you have a VCR with slow motion capability, another fun exercise is to have a look at some of the martial arts scenes with your children. In one scene a guy has a huge rifle, and does a flip over a rock. The rifle magically disappears for the flip, and then returns when he lands. Observing techniques like this gives children a great opportunity to understand how movies are constructed, and will explain to them why people cannot do these things in reality.
Top Dog has many scenes of people being shot, including one explicit scene near the beginning
If your children see this movie, ask them why no one ever shoots Norris when they have a chance. Other police officers get shot like ducks on a pond in this film, yet whenever the bad guys find Norris, they use martial arts techniques instead of bullets. The answer to this question is obvious, but see if your kids can figure it out.