Dog – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Dog – Bark of a Friendship: A Path Home

What is it that defines a bond.  The many things that can be said, there is always something unique to our connections in life.  From friends to family, it is an invaluable touch that can bring about moments of everlasting stories.  In this review, I look at a dramedy that provides heartiness to a unique relationship.  Within an unlikely pair, friendships become keen reflections of struggle and trust.  Even when generalities abound, Dog is a journey that showcases the true meaning of a wholesome bond.  

The story begins with Briggs (Channing Tatum).  He is an Army Ranger who is trying to get redeployed, even with some serious medical issues.  To get back into the field, he is ordered to take Lulu, a Belgian Malinois, to the funeral of his former handler in Arizona.  This unlikely pairing leads to them learning what is truly important in this life.  On the surface, this film is built upon the typical buddy/road trip formula.  You have an odd couple pairing that is thrust into an unlikely situation that takes them on an unorthodox journey.  Along this linear path, they come across unusual circumstances that are pushed with dramatic or comedic effect.  Within this formula, you are introduced to Briggs and Lulu at a low point in their Army career.  Having lived through the horrors of war, it has influenced their current living situations.  Through some convenient plot devices, their initial interactions are subtle but provide levity against the common genre hijinks.  This contrast adds a personal touch to the odd moments, leveling out characterization of their own guise.  Through the first act, it becomes repetitive moments of Briggs leaving Lulu (for some human contact) which leads to freneticism of human/animal situations.  The odd consequence like moments is redundant, but it is the subtlety of their bond that reveals the effects of their past deployments.  As the journey continues, you start to see how their interactions become an opening, defining their relationship within a mirror of their own personal demons.  This subtle connection provides girth to the typical archetypes, elevating the second act to feel more genuine and complimentary to the journey.

As they continue their road trip to Arizona, those genuine moments move above the common hijinks (of the genre).  This helps make each situation feel real, leading to wholesome conversations of family, friendship and war.  This path of reflection brings Briggs closer to understanding the unusual antics of Lulu.  Through some conversational exposition, you get those revelation moments that elevate the journey above the genre motifs.  Once in the third act, everything becomes align to the moments of memories.  As things come to head, it leads into a full circle climax that is unrelenting in its poignancy of redemption.  Dog is a journey that elevates above its own general foundation.  The strength comes in the unlikely pairing, reveling in the poignancy of companionship.  If you are a fan of buddy type films, love animals or like a fun time for the family, this is one for you.  It is definitely a great film to see at the theaters.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *