LASSIE director Charles Sturridge has hit out at a British journalist's disparaging review of his canine classic remake, branding the reporter "a comic writer rather than a critic".

PETER BRADSHAW slammed the film's sentimentality in British newspaper The Guardian, rudely asking "Has anyone got a plastic bag and some rubber gloves?"

But movie-maker Sturridge has launched a furious retaliation, and blasted the critic's "doggy conceit" as totally misplaced.

He says, "Lassie in fact belongs to one of the oldest traditions of storytelling, present in the narrative of our race since the first hunter sat around the fire and told his story: the fact that we can survive against seemingly impossible odds.

"Part of the power of all storytelling is reassurance, offering hope to those sat in darkness, that good can succeed and wrongdoing fail."