HomeEntertainmentHollywood‘Dog’ Review: Man and Beast Hit the Road

‘Dog’ Review: Man and Beast Hit the Road

Road comedies that pair an animal and a film star are a minor style unto themselves. The greatest examples, for my part, contain Clint Eastwood and an orangutan named Clyde, although the current one with Eastwood and a rooster wasn’t unhealthy. Channing Tatum is a distinct form of display screen presence — sweeter, chattier, bulkier — and in “Dog,” which he directed with Reid Carolin, he amiably shares the display screen with (spoiler alert!) a canine.

She is a Belgian Malinois named Lulu (performed by three gifted canines), and she or he has served within the U.S. army in Iraq and Afghanistan. So has Tatum’s character, Jackson Briggs, a former Army Ranger residing in a cabin within the Northwest. A historical past of mind accidents has stored him out of motion, however he hopes {that a} good phrase from his commanding officer will give him an opportunity to return abroad.

To make that occur, Jackson agrees to accompany Lulu from Fort Lewis, Wash., to Nogales, Ariz. The purpose for the highway journey is the funeral of her handler, a Ranger whose dying in a automotive crash haunts Jackson and the movie. While “Dog” is a man-beast buddy film, it’s additionally preoccupied with grief, trauma and the challenges of post-combat life. Lulu and Jackson are each wounded warriors who should be taught to belief one another and assist one another heal.

Though a lot is product of Lulu’s ferociousness, the movie’s humor is mild and principally unthreatening. She chews up the seats in Jackson’s already battered Ford Bronco, disrupts his potential threesome with a pair of Tantra practitioners in Portland and causes an unlucky ruckus in a San Francisco resort. Jackson has variously awkward, hostile and touching human encounters, notably with New Age hashish growers and a resentful, racist police officer.

“Dog” is unabashedly sentimental. A film a couple of canine and a soldier may hardly be in any other case. Luckily, Tatum’s self-deprecating allure and Carolin’s script preserve the story on the tolerable facet of maudlin. It’s additionally circumspect about Lulu and Jackson’s experiences of conflict, which is vaguely understood as one thing horrible but additionally wonderful. Neither one is as advanced as an actual canine or an actual man can be, which makes the film a straightforward watch, however at the price of some credibility. It’s pleasant and desirous to please, but it surely received’t fairly hunt.

Dog
Rated PG-13. More barking than biting. Running time: 1 hour half-hour. In theaters.

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