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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Dog (2022)

A buddy road movie about two washed up ex-soldiers who appear to have lived out their professional usefulness. One has two legs, the other has four. The former is transporting the latter (who refuses to fly, obviously) to their last unfortunate destination.

Firstly, this isn't as much fun as you might imagine. It isn't Turner & Hooch, for example. It has its moments, certainly, that will make you briefly chuckle, but its not the laugh-a-minute romp across the US with two best friends, getting into scrapes and having "just the best time."

As a directorial debut for Tatum and Carolin this is none too shabby. It won't win any awards, but it's easy to tell that this isn't just cobbled together, judging by some of the shot choices they have opted for. Admittedly the story is a little predictable and cliched but it's still delivered with the best intentions, even if there is maybe a little too much wanton patriotism early on that probably wasn't needed to demonstrate the mindsets of our two leads.

As a project, this suits Tatum for a first job in a new field. It isn't too demanding a tale to get across and we would have to assume that as he both leads and directs, he knows exactly how much humour to imbibe into this. We may have been expecting something a little more anarchic, but there is more to this than a mere 'don't work with animals' message at its core. It dallies with pointless threads occasionally, never to return, and has some issues with its intermittent forays into events more light-hearted.

Ultimately, this is more considered than you might expect and contains more than enough drama to push back the comedy that lurks underneath for most of the picture. Tangentially, it skirts respectfully with the emotional baggage of being ex-military, but never dwells on it for too long. It sometimes dawdles without reason and that throws the pacing off from time to time, but mostly this is a very accomplished (not to mention surprising) piece of work.


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