Dog Review: Director Channing Tatum’s Debut Is A Goofy Comedy

Tatum’s film develops on the “Magic Mike XXL” star’s undying belief that a man is only as strong as the bond he shares with his best friend.

A best friend comedy about mutual life-changing friendships that form between Channing Tatum and a Belgian Malinois on a wild road trip from Montana to Arizona,”Dog“Is the kind of movie that will divide audiences into two unequal camps: Those who are surprised to find out that it is actually good, and those who are disappointed to learn that it is not surprisingly good. The first group, all idiots, entered this thing expecting to see a goofy take his “steroid puppy” screen character to its logical conclusion. The second group, already sanctified by the divine light of masterpieces like “She’s the Man” and “Magic Mike XXL,” ready themselves for another chance to see one of the humble movie stars. The best of his generation took advantage of his bald physique to perfect the vessel to explore the softer side of masculinity.

“Dog” vindicates both crowds to varying degrees, as this amusing and satisfying tear-jerker might just be the best Channing Tatum thing anyone has ever done (he even agrees). directed it with production partner Reid Carolin). Several aspects of the film reflect his limitations – most of them crystallize his appeal. But even the film’s weirdest and juvenile digressions can’t mask the fact that its barking is worse than its (very tender) bite, for its true power is This “dog” ultimately stems from the star’s undying belief that only a man is as strong as the bond he shares with his best friend.

The bond that Briggs (Tatum) shares with his team mates will certainly no longer be a hoax. A former Ranger forced to retire after suffering a series of traumatic brain injuries (“The Army has no place for responsibility,” says his former Captain), Briggs sets himself up at the beginning of this film. Carolin’s screenplay can be uncomfortably wide when it comes to a hero’s empty shell, but the empty bottles scattered across his bedroom floor paint a clear enough picture, and it seems He’s not the only one who hasn’t. get the support he needs from his Rangers or Army teammates in general; His war buddy Rodriguez just crashed into a tree at 120mph, and you wonder how many uniformed men gathered at his memorial really wanted to call him. when he was in crisis. Then again, it’s unlikely that Rodriguez ever asked for help: He was a soldier, and soldiers were taught to put on a brave face even though they were hurting inside. any.


But Briggs doesn’t care that the Army doesn’t want him anymore, or that going back to active duty might be the worst thing he can do to ease his tinnitus. He needs a family, and the only way he will be allowed back into the circle is if he agrees to drive Rodriguez’s injured service dog – a former Ranger, herself – to the ceremony. his funeral in Arizona before leaving her at the military base where she was about to be eaten.

Will Briggs decide to save Lulu’s life? Can Lulu save him in return? Could a shot of absolute amnesia, as impossible as it sounds, somehow bridge the gap between “A Woman’s Scent” and Samuel Fuller’s “White Dog”? The answers to all of those questions are obvious, but this sweet and semi-soft film is really entertaining in its process of asking them in ridiculous ways. While “Dog” is far more of a comedic than amusing humour – Carolin and Tatum maintain the loose comedic tone of an old war story as they alternate between slapstick humor and slapstick comedy. sudden tension – this is also a movie about the center of the road trip, and one that uses the genre as a right to put its characters in all sorts of wacky situations.

“Dog” takes its time with all the basic moves you would expect in a comedy about a large grown man carrying his dead friend’s high-maintenance pet for more than 1,500 miles. and muttering turns out to be one of the unknowns of the talented Tatum. However, the dynamic between Briggs and the four-legged passenger he locked in the backseat of his 1984 Bronco was loaded from the start.

For starters, they served together. The last time Briggs saw Lulu – played by very good girls Britta, Lana and Zuza – she brought people back to life over and over in one of the Middle Eastern countries Briggs so desperately wanted to see again (he seemed to as if it didn’t care what country it would be, or why American troops might be sent there). He knows there’s a bit of fear about her, even if he’s forgotten how much she hates being touched behind her ears, but it will take him a while to realize the pain behind her eyes. Lulu, or see herself in the muzzled frown of a dog left to die because she no longer has the strength to fight. In fact, the first stop Briggs made on the trip was at a shooting range, where he did several rounds of practice without minding the fact that a single shot might be enough to trigger Lulu’s PTSD.


Briggs’ wounds are less defined – a symptom of his denial that makes the movie revolve around him letting the Army get off the hook – but what if “Dog” shares his ugly apathy? protagonists for the specifics of America’s wars, it’s unafraid about the cost of poisoning the souls of fighting in them. While Carolin and Tatum are outspoken in their condemnation of the Army, they head a hell of a lot closer than you’d expect from a movie that opens with strong military propaganda. It is clear that Briggs and Lulu are both sick in their own way, and it is said that even the silliest of detours along their travels find themselves encountering healers in this way or another. Different ways.

A pit stop in Portland – a city where the film is so ridiculously exaggerated that Fox News viewers will likely take it for face value – culminates with Lulu’s very special night blocking Briggs’ head with a pair of sexy tantric scribes. A stopover on the way to San Francisco leads to an ambush that threatens to push the whole movie in a much darker direction, but a scene that starts off with some real suspense is finally tempered. in the most fun way possible (no spoilers, but Jane Adams and WWE legend/”Magic Mike XXL” icon Kevin Nash would be hard pressed to beat the year’s best movie pairing). Then, when Briggs plays a blind war veteran to win a free room at a luxury hotel, the show’s funniest episode is halted with its most annoyingly serious moment, when Lulu bites a doctor during a confrontation scene with a person more than the extent of the damage she and Briggs took home.

It’s hard to describe these delegate areas without making them lose sight of “what the hell is going on right now?” fun, but let’s just say that a movie as out of place as “Dog” would be a complete disaster without Tatum’s ability to maintain his tail-wagging tone. He may not be trying too hard in the role (even in the end, Briggs only knows a little about one person), but it’s always fun to see an actor who fully understands how to use his own charm.

It’s basically a movie that just wants some good hits and is willing to do whatever it takes to get them. That eagerness sometimes produces a clash of men and tears – as you might expect from something that marries “Turner & Hooch” puppies with glee. riots of mortification, PTSD, and combating veteran suicide — and it leaves Carolin and Tatum a bit off balance when the film finally makes a weak bid to define Briggs’ plot. Good content is a bit tight, tense content is a bit cool, and the work of supplying water at the end is more like a leaky faucet than a broken cistern because the movie doesn’t want to tilt too sharply in any particular direction. any. And yet, “Dog” is built with a surprising degree of clarity on at least one point, even if it is argued with nonpartisan softness: These two former Rangers just might become all they can be for what they become to each other.

Grade B

MGM will release “Dog” in theaters on Friday, February 18.

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Olly Dawes

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