Well intentioned, but poorly executed, DOG rides an uneven script that largely lacks emotion and squanders the charm of star (and co-director) Channing Tatum.
When former Army Ranger Briggs (Tatum) is tasked with taking Lulu (an Army Ranger dog) to her handler’s funeral, antics ensue as they both let their guards down and work towards happiness. DOG is a severely disappointing outing in what should have been a home run of a film. The story is one that is to be expected, but a feel-good movie is what was promised. Instead, DOG relies on awkward humor and a spastic script that repeatedly casts lines that are never reeled in. Subplots involving Tatum’s character’s health go barely addressed while his relationship with his daughter is introduced, neglected, and ultimately shown in the film’s waning moments without context. It all leads to a messy, RUFF (couldn’t help myself) ride.
Tatum is delightful as always, a perfect casting for this type of role that is sure to delight audiences (those attracted to him will enjoy a particular scene involving a wet white t-shirt). He succeeds in drawing you in spite of his character coming across frustratingly unlikable. Even with his infusion of heart, however, DOG isn’t able to elevate to the emotional pull it intends, and ultimately thinks it accomplishes. It’s only in final moments of the film that I admittedly fell into a dramatic bawl, but at that point it was too little, too late. There has to be more to this film somewhere on the cutting room floor; too many loose ends are obvious and the depth necessary to draw the empathy of the viewer is simply not present. It pains me to report that DOG drops the ball.
DOG hits theaters Friday.
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