Starring: Channing Tatum, Jane Adams, Kevin Nash, Q’orianka Kilcher, Ethan Suplee, Emmy Raver-Lampman, and Nicole LaLiberte
Directors: Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin
My expectations weren’t high for Dog, so, technically, my expectations were exceeded. The film still isn’t great, though. It’s sort of all over the place in terms of plot and tone. If this is supposed to be a comedy, it isn’t very funny; if it’s supposed to be a drama, it doesn’t really feel that way. As a director, Channing Tatum doesn’t do anything interesting either. That said, it is a very sweet film that gave me a nice smile, so I suppose it wasn’t a total waste of time.
From the moment I saw the trailer for Dog, I was pretty sure I had the whole story figured out. Lo and behold, I was right. Despite being very predictable, it is a heartwarming story that allows Channing Tatum to show us a level of depth that we haven’t quite seen from him. Along with that, Tatum proves he’s a pretty competent director, able to capture natural beauty from landscapes while keeping us entertained throughout a film that is essentially a one man conversation for nearly the whole runtime.
Dog is a charming “boy and his dog” story and a suitable directorial debut for Channing Tatum, but it doesn’t quite have the capacity to dive into its more difficult themes. There’s some pretty decent comedy here, and clearly Tatum has the capabilities to make his film coherent and workable. However, when it comes to dealing with its harsher subject matter, such as veteran PTSD and training dogs to be racist, the film only makes cursory nods to them. The film’s potential to be better is what makes the fact that it’s just “pretty good” a little frustrating.