MOVIE REVIEWS

REVIEW: ‘Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank’ remakes an adult comedy classic into an animated movie for modern-day kids

Jul 15, 2022, 2:32 PM
Michael Cera as “Hank” and Samuel L. Jackson as “Jimbo” in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank...
Michael Cera as “Hank” and Samuel L. Jackson as “Jimbo” in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank from Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, Align, and Aniventure.

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s no other way to say it.  I never thought I would have occasion to describe a kids animated movie as “a remake of Blazing Saddles,” the highly irreverent and very politically incorrect 1974 Mel Brooks comedy.  Yet here we are.

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is a movie about a dog who goes to become the samurai protector of a town full of cats where no dogs are allowed.  But the plot, certain scenes and key moments are straight remakes or adaptations from Brooks’ original film.

In fact, the original working title of the movie was Blazing Samurai, Mel Brooks himself is an executive producer for Hank and also provides the voice for one of the characters.

 

THE STORY

A kind but naïve dog named Hank (voiced by Michael Cera) has journeyed into the nation of cats to learn how to be a samurai.  A ruthless cat leader named Ika Chu (Ricky Gervais) wants to secretly wipe a nearby village off the map in order to take possession of the land.

So Ika Chu convinces the trusting Hank to go be the town’s protector, even though Hank has no samurai skills, while planning to send his own army to overwhelm Hank and overrun the town.

In order to protect the village, Hank will need help from villagers who hate him for being a dog, as well convince a reluctant teacher (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) to train him so he can become a samurai and hopefully save the day.

THINGS I LIKED

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank benefits from a solid cast–in addition to the voices previously mentioned you’ll also hear George Takei, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Hounsou, and Michelle Yeoh in key roles.

It also has solid comedy DNA.  People who’ve seen Blazing Saddles will catch the many references made in this movie, but the story adapts surprisingly well to a kid audience. Though the original would never work in today’s climate, it’s worth pointing out that a few years ago the American Film Institute named it one of the top 10 comedies ever made.

While this movie is ostensibly for kids (it’s released under the Nickelodeon banner of Paramount), it is clever enough for adults to potentially enjoy.  I feel that by using dogs and cats instead of Blacks and Whites, Paws of Fury shows that the essence of the humor behind Blazing Saddles is less crass and more universal than you might have thought.

I also felt Legend of Hank has some additional good messages in its own right, and I thought it had a better ending than Blazing Saddles.

WARNINGS

Paws of Fury is rother than some flatulence jokes—another callback to the original movie—it really is safe for families.

The run time, as Mel Brooks’ character points out during the movie itself, is “a brisk 86 minutes (without credits)”.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Your expectations going into this movie will likely determine how you feel when you’re finished with it.  I had low expectations and actually found Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank to be as funny in its own way as the latest Minions movie.  If you go in with high expectations, you may be disappointed.

Nevertheless, I do think adults and kids can both enjoy this movie.  I also think it will suffer from a lack of preexisting familiarity among audiences that Minions benefited from and there’s no social media trend associated with this one to help it either.

Andy’s final rating: TWO out of FOUR stars

WHERE TO WATCH

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is playing only in theaters.  When it comes to streaming at a future date, it will likely be to Paramount Plus.


Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for KSL 5 TV in Salt Lake City and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Movie Reviews

(L to R) Thira ‘Aum’ Chutikul as Commander Kiet, Popetorn ‘Two’ Soonthornyanaku as Dr Karn,...
ANDY FARNSWORTH, KSL TV & KSL NEWSRADIO

REVIEW: ‘Thirteen Lives’ movie dramatically tells real rescue story of Thai soccer team from flooded cave

In THIRTEEN LIVES, a true story-based movie on Amazon Prime about the rescue of a teenage soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand, director Ron Howard manages to pull off the feat of balancing truth with drama without turning it into a documentary. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it was an emotionally-engaging movie that showcases the triumph of human effort and spirit when we work together to solve a problem.
4 days ago
(L to R) B.J. Novak as Ben Manalowitz and Boyd Holbrook as Ty Shaw in VENGEANCE, directed and writt...
ANDY FARNSWORTH, KSL TV & KSL NEWSRADIO

REVIEW: Dark comedy ‘Vengeance’ goes deeper than easy stereotypes for laughs in murder mystery movie

The death of a one-time fling draws B.J. Novak's writer/podcaster character Ben to West Texas to investigate and hopefully turn the story into a career-making podcast in Focus Features' VENGEANCE. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says this dark comedy has some great twists and very funny moments, while also going beyond stereotypes to create real characters.
11 days ago
The Gray Man (2022) Ryan Gosling as Six. Cr. Stanislav Honzik/Netflix © 2022...
ANDY FARNSWORTH, KSL TV & KSL NEWSRADIO

REVIEW: ‘The Gray Man’ is a violent but fast-paced throwback to action/spy movies of the past, with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling chasing each other around the globe

The new action thriller movie THE GRAY MAN, from AVENGERS ENDGAME directors Joe and Anthony Russo, sees Chris Evans' sadistic mercenary chasing Ryan Gosling's on-the-run CIA agent all around the globe to get back some stolen information. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's a love letter to spy and action movies of the past, and is very entertaining at times, though it is also quite violent.
25 days ago
(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios' THOR: LOVE AND...
ANDY FARNSWORTH, KSL TV & KSL NEWSRADIO

REVIEW: Portman, Bale help make ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ more than just another goofy adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, the 29th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sees Chris Hemsworth's Thor have to deal with his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) using his formerly-destroyed mystical hammer and possessing his same power while trying to stop a villain who can kill gods. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's another goofy take on the character that has some very funny moments, but may not be to everyone's tastes.
1 month ago
Young Gru (Steve Carell) dreams of being the baddest villain of all time in MINIONS: THE RISE OF GR...
ANDY FARNSWORTH, KSL TV & KSL NEWSRADIO

REVIEW: Solid story, setting, voice cast lift animated sequel/prequel ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ above its predecessor

MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU brings back everyone's favorite little yellow troublemakers from the DESPICABLE ME franchise, this time in a tale of how Gru began to be a super-villain. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's a much more enjoyable entry from start to finish over the first MINIONS movie, with clever villains, a great voice cast, soundtrack, and just the right amount of Minions hi-jinks mixed in.
1 month ago
In Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear,” Buzz (voice of Chris Evans) returns to the planet he’s b...
ANDY FARNSWORTH, KSL TV & KSL NEWSRADIO

REVIEW: Latest Disney/Pixar movie ‘Lightyear’ is a better-than-average sci-fi tale helped by its ‘Toy Story’ connection

In the new Disney/Pixar film LIGHTYEAR, fans get a chance to see why the toy Buzz Lightyear did some of the things he did in the TOY STORY movies, and why his owner Andy wanted the toy in the first place. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's a very meta concept and a better than average sci-fi movie with some hilarious characters and moments that will please many, but definitely not all Disney fans.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
REVIEW: ‘Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank’ remakes an adult comedy classic into an animated movie for modern-day kids