Children's films are predictable, soporific and preachy, or so the makers of this sequel seem to feel. Granted, they're still determined to explore thorny ethical issues rather than throw cheap adventure cliches at kinetically-inclined kids.
Dog-loving Marty Preston (Zachary Browne, replacing Blake Heron), who looks like a young Brad Pitt, lives in the small rural town of Friendly, where little has changed since the first film. Except that mean old Judd Travers (Scott Wilson), abusive previous owner of Marty's beloved beagle Shiloh,
is off the wagon in a big way, knocking down neighbors' mailboxes and poaching the Prestons' woods. Worse, his erratic behavior fans M...