‘Beethoven’s 5th’ (Film)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Beethoven Does ‘Scooby-Doo’

‘Beethoven’s 5th’ is the fifth and ‘final’ film of the original ‘Beethoven’ series. Sadly, it’s not the last as three more ‘Beethoven’ films get made, albeit they’re a reboot of the character. Very nonsensical!

The fifth film was released in 2003, two years after the previous film. I would like to say the fifth film keeps up the consistency that’s been going on in the previous films. But there’s a huge niggle I have.

The film features Sara Newton joined by Beethoven as they go on vacation to meet her Uncle Freddy. Sara was played by Michaela Gallo in the previous two films. But she’s not played by her in this movie.

Sara is played by Daveigh Chase. This ruins the credibility of the ‘Beethoven’ movies for me. I liked Michaela Gallo as Sara in ‘Beethoven’s 3rd’ and ‘4th’. I wished she was playing Sara in this fifth movie.

To have Sara played by another actress who looks nothing like her predecessor in terms of facial expressions and skin tone is wrong to me. Did Sara have a ‘Doctor Who’ regeneration between films?

Now to be fair, Daveigh Chase is not all that bad playing Sara in this film. I’m sure she did her best. But I struggled to connect her to previous films, especially where she tended to be squeamish.

I’m sure Sara in the previous two films wasn’t like that. Oh incidentally, she and Beethoven journey to meet Uncle Freddy via coach. Her parents did not drop her off. They’re holidaying in the Bahamas.

Why wasn’t Sara invited to the Bahamas with her parents? Was her brother not invited as well? There’s no mention of him in this film. She did go to camp beforehand, but was that the real reason?

Anyway, Dave Thomas stars as Freddy Kablinski, Sara’s uncle in the film. Freddy’s a ‘grease monkey’/mechanic who is rather a slob. But he seems quite a loving and caring uncle to Sara in this.

The film also has Faith Ford as Sheriff Julie Dempsey. Julie seems to be a tough cookie whose father happens to be ‘the Equaliser’. 😀 Freddy has a ‘thing’ for Julie when interacting with her in the movie.

There’s also John Larroquette as Mayor Harold Herman. Mayor Harold doesn’t appear much in the film and I sussed it out he was the villain all along. Even at the end of his first scene, I sussed it out. 🙂

The film takes on a mystery element where Beethoven discovers some old fortune in an old mine in mining town Quicksilver where Uncle Freddy lives. This was turning into a ‘Scooby-Doo’ story for me.

Does that make the film better or worse? Well…if I’m honest…it does make it a little better. I mean, I’m not saying ‘Beethoven’s 5th’ is a masterpiece. But the film’s second half did keep me gripped. 😀

It was distracting in the film’s first half with all the bizarre characters and zaniness going on with Beethoven and Sara meeting Uncle Freddy. Even the film admits that Quicksilver’s people are weird.

There’s also a ghost theme going on, especially when Sara, Beethoven and Uncle Freddy spot strange ghostly apparitions in a forest. It’s another instance where I’m reminded of ‘Scooby-Doo’. 🙂

Sammy Kahn stars as Garret, a young boy who becomes friends with Sara and helps her, Beethoven and Uncle Freddy solve the legendary fortune mystery. I wonder if Garret was meant to be Brennan.

The film also features Tom Poston as John Giles who later turned out to be Selig, the son of two 1920s bank robbers. For a while, it was unclear whether John Giles/Selig was a villainous man or not.

There’s also Katherine Helmond as crazy Cora Wilkens. Beethoven, Sara, Uncle Freddie and Garret meet Cora in the forest who sets up traps in the woods. I didn’t expect to be an ally of Mayor Harold.

There’s also Kathy Griffin as Evie Kling. Evie has a small white dog that keeps barking at Beethoven. Beethoven barks back too. 😀 I don’t believe the two dogs like each other as I watched them in the film.

The film also features Richard Riehle as Vaughn Carter. Incidentally, Richard Riehle played Santa Claus in ‘The Search For Santa Paws’. I don’t think I recognised him whilst I was watching this movie. 😀

And there’s Clint Howard as Owen Tuttle. There’s also Rodman Flender as Moe Selig and Tina Illman as Rita Selig who appear briefly in the film’s opening moments in some ‘Keystone Cops’ movie style.

The main star as always is Beethoven the dog. I don’t think it’s the same dog who’s appeared in all five films so far. St. Bernard dogs do look the same to me. Beethoven’s played by J.S. Barque in this film.

The film’s music is composed by Adam Berry for a change. Unlike the previous film, I did hear the familiar ‘Beethoven’ music by Randy Edelman in the opening and closing scenes which was very nice.

‘Beethoven’s 5th’ is a better film compared to the previous two films. It’s not great and the acting’s hokey in places. But this turned out to be entertaining fun which is what is expected in these movies.

There aren’t any DVD special features provided for ‘Beethoven’s 5th’. Not even a theatrical trailer for the film. There are special features provided for the US’ DVD, but why not for the UK’s DVD?! 😡

I’m glad I’ve completed the original ‘Beethoven’ film series in its ultimate 5 movie collection called ‘The Pooch Pack’. ‘Beethoven’s 4th’ wasn’t good whilst ‘Beethoven’s 5th’ is an improvement. I’m sure I’ll check out the next three films, but this is a good place to take a break from these movies. 😀

‘Beethoven’s 5th’ rating – 7/10

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