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‘Dog’ – Review

‘Dog’ – Review


The relationship between man and dog is a sacred, joyous and cherished thing and in his first feature film as a director, Hollywood megastar Channing Tatum tells a loving and adorable story of one man’s relationship to man’s best friend, and Dog is sure to bring a smile to your face.

With a dog named Lulu by his side, former U.S. Army Ranger Jackson Briggs (Channing Tatum) races down the Pacific Coast to make it to a soldier’s funeral on time. Along the way, Briggs and Lulu drive each other completely crazy, break a handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards to have a fighting chance of finding happiness.

In his first work behind the camera, Hollywood megastar Channing Tatum and his co-director and good friend Reid Carolin bring a touching, sympathetic and ultimately warm story in Dog to the big screen. And this film will pull at your heart. As a story of two mismatched and broken characters, battle-scarred former U.S. Army Ranger Jackson Briggs (Tatum) was once at the tip of the spear but now is suffering the effects of a traumatic brain injury and severe issues with war-time PTSD. With little prospects for any kind of future he accepts a mission to return his best friend’s beloved dog, Lulu, to the former soldier’s funeral and her ultimate final mission. But this journey for Jackson ain’t gonna be easy and instead of finding a sweet, happy-go-lucky dog, instead, we meet a war-weary fellow soldier and Lulu has plenty of problems, just like Jackson, to overcome.

A quintessential road movie in every possible way, Dog, finds these two mismatched individuals travelling down the Pacific Coast and as soon as they roll out onto the open road things take an interesting turn. With their core mission at hand, Jackson and Lulu find themselves in all kinds of mischief, including romantic moments gone wrong, falling into an underground marijuana growth operation, with very unexpected and hilarious consequences, trying to experience the good life, for a moment at least, and finding their way back home again. Dog’s focus on the journey that these two characters take together keeps you hooked the whole way through and Tatum and Carolin keep things interesting with the narrative and the emotional journey that both Jackson and Lulu go on.

While Dog is a quintessential comedy-road movie, Tatum also gets to show off a more serious side and there are some serious issues that this broken soldier is facing. Suffering from a traumatic brain injury in his fight for freedom and country, along with horrendous PTSD and with little hope of any possible bright future, Tatum’s Jackson Briggs is very much a broken man. It’s only through the healing love of a dog at his side, and his journey to help her that he’s able to see the light again and find his way back to the man he once was. Tatum gives a respectful and serious performance and this is an incredibly honest and sincere performance on his behalf.

The focus on two singular characters, Jackson and Lulu, keeps the narrative streamlined and simple and allows Tatum and Carolin to really get to the heart of the issues that these two are suffering through and how each of them needs the other to find themselves and make each other whole again. Part of the success of Dog comes down to its focus on the veteran community and the issues that those whole belong to it have to go through. From PTSD and war-time trauma to severe battle injuries that just don’t go away, Tatum and Carolin do their utmost to represent the hardships that the veteran community has to live through and how they can overcome them with support, understanding and above all love.

Dog is a story of humour, adventure, hijinks and above all things love, and audiences who are lucky enough to witness it will be smiling from ear to ear at the end of its story, It’s a heart-warming, feel-good story and shows that Channing Tatum is a director to definitely keep an eye on.

Image: Roadshow Films