May 25, 2024

DOG (2022) – Road trip with two loggerheads

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Rating: ⭐⭐

Channing Tatum plays Briggs, an ex-Army Ranger who is out of action due to injury attained that causes him to have flashes of mental attacks from time to time. He struggles to get accepted back into action without a report to indicate him as being medically fit. One day, Briggs is asked to bring an Army Ranger military attack dog, a Belgian Malinois, to attend the funeral of its owner/trainer, a fellow ex-Army Ranger and close friend to Briggs. The drive will take several days and necessary because apparently the dog does not travel well by air.

So what we basically have is an unlikely road trip tale with two ex-Army Rangers that starts of at loggerheads with each other only to develop the inevitable camaraderie at the end. Channing Tatum has the right physique and presence to play a convincing ex-Army Ranger but can he pull off the charms and chemistry with his furry co-star? Well, yes and no. Channing still manages to comes across as likeable and winsome despite the forced humour and series of rather inconceivable situations that they encounter along the way. However, I have to say that the dog Lulu was the better actor between them. Fortunately for us the film makers did not use a computer generated dog as was done in recent remake of The Call of the Wild. Letting the dog perform without any CGI intervention keeps things real.

It is a pity that the film and director / writer Reid Carolin failed to capitalise on these two winning performers with its very weak storyline and often preposterous plot that does little to provide the rationale to Briggs eventual change of heart. The film ends up feeling like it is bulldozing its way towards a shamefully sentimental ending that we can see a mile ahead. Despite all of that, I have to admit it did manage to pull the strings of my heart a little with its conclusion but then I am a sentimentalist when it comes to any movies about dogs, so what do I know? Apparently this is a first time joint effort for the film’s two directors, Reid Carolin and Channing Tatum himself! So, I guess not bad for a first time effort.

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