DOG Review : This year’s Turner & Hooch

A sweet little film starring Channing Tatum and his cute K9 co-star


Who is ready for the latest drama in the long tradition of so called “Dog Movies”? You know what I mean. The main reason someone would want to see this film is because of the cute dog featured in the film. But Dog has something else to grab the audience’s attention…Channing Tatum. Cute dog plus Tatum makes for an irresistible combination for many people out there. Throw in a road trip flick and commentary on veterans’ mental health and you have quite the cocktail of a cinematic experience.

Along with his co-director Reid Carolin, can Tatum deliver the goods with this directorial effort? First off, this movie is exactly what you are expecting out of it. Nothing more…nothing less. The narrative beats are familiar, and the thematic threads play out how you expect. Tatum is a soldier so he will most likely experience PTSD which this dog will help comfort him. This dog is unruly, and Tatum’s character will certainly help calm her down. The tone is a bit shaky as Tatum leans into the humor but there are moments that are more serious, and the film does seem confident in those moments. Whether it is the humor nature of Tatum or not, the film feels more aligned when it is having some fun.

But what about this inspiring story that the film offers up? We have already discussed some of the many threads of the film but much of the film feels like a string of vignettes. Each section of the film has its set up and pay with many of them feeling particularly familiar, but a few offers up something more unique. Some of them feel quite out of place (especially the one with Magic Mike alum and pro wrestler Kevin Nash). Other threads feel emotionally poignant, usually when Tatum is having a better connection to his new canine companion. Even if the whole films feel quite familiar, the finale of the film does feel emotionally satisfying which is what we would want from it in the first place.

How about the cast that films out the film around its central Belgian Malinois? Tatum has some emotional moments but feels more comfortable being a bit clownish and funny. Bill Burr is a snarky and tough security officer who spars humorously with Tatum. Kevin Nash is big and burly as he offers up some fun paranoia in the form of a weed and pig farmer. There are a few other actors through in along the way. The biggest star of the film must be the dog in the first place. Every scene the dog pops up in, she sucks up all of the attention.

Does Tatum deliver a satisfying and enjoyable romp between a veteran and his new dog companion? This familiar road trip flick offers up a satisfactory amount of charm thanks to Tatum’s work and this cute dog. Dog is easy to process and is slightly sharp in the way it balances humor, serious themes for veterans, and cute dog moments to put us all in a special place to enjoy this sweet little film.

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Trailer : Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis