Dog

This was one of those movies that I was sick of seeing the trailer for. I was not anxious to see it in at the theater, but when it came up on Vudu for rental, I thought it was a good opportunity to see it.

Little did I know that I would like Dog as much as I did.

Channing Tatum played former Army Ranger Briggs whose friend and fellow Ranger died in a car crash. Briggs’ friend had a canine partner, who was wild and out of control. Briggs was struggling with his own mental issues, PTSD and was currently out of the Army. The army assigned Briggs to escort the canine partner, a dog named Lulu, to the funeral of her partner in exchange for consideration of reinstatement.

However, as mentioned, Lulu was wild, requiring a muzzle and carrying cage. The trip to California would take several days and so the two veterans undertook their road trip with a chance to understand one another better than when they started.

Is the story predictable. Of course, it is. You know exactly how things were going to resolve themselves in the third act. But I have to say, I was right there hoping for the predictable outcome to occur. Though the film was predictable, it still was able to grab my attention and my emotions.

The big reason was that they gave Channing Tatum a much deeper character than I was expecting. The challenges that he was struggling with were real and could be related with. The relationship with Lulu, a Belgian Malinois, was sweet and developed gradually and realistically. The dog who played Lulu did a great job of being expressive (or the CGI team did a great job with the dog). It was as if I knew what the dog was thinking at all times.

As a wrestling fan, it was nice to see Kevin Nash back in a film.

I do have to say that this was a film that I felt showed too much in the trailers. There were clips from almost all of the key moments in the film and I would have liked some of these moments to be surprises for the film. That is, of course, not a criticism of the movie as much as it is a criticism of the promotional company.

There were moments that were funny, moments that were poignant, and moments filled with emotion. Predictable, yes. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. This is a great film for dog lovers and for all families.

4 stars

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