The most superficial viewing one can make of “Dog: A Wild Ride” is satisfying. It is a light and entertaining ‘road movie’, in which Channing Tatum succeeds in what comes easiest for him: the role of tough, but charismatic guy. He plays Jackson Briggs, a member of the US Army who is entrusted with the mission of taking Lulu, the dog of a deceased soldier, to his funeral, at the express request of his family. But Lulu, a beautiful Belgian Shepherd, is a troublesome dog, and it is in the messes and messes she causes that the film’s narrative is sustained. There are good doses of humor, as is logical and predictable; and although conventional, it is also effective.
But if we look at it more closely, the film co-directed by Tatum himself and Reid Carolin has other values to highlight. To get started, it is plausible the way in which the protagonist bitch is represented, avoiding some of the usual clichés of movies with canine characters. Here, for example, he does not give in to an excessive humanization of the animal, nor to unbelievable heroic acts that turn Lulu into an unlikely heroine. Her behavior and her exploits are limited, portrayed in fair measure.
The other highlight is that, despite the fact that the script ends up leaning towards the emotional bond between Briggs and Lulu, it also has passages of shocking violence. If in his remarkable “White Dog” (1982), Samuel Fuller showed a dog trained to attack people with black skin, here we are presented with a dog trained militarily to react with savagery against anyone who has the appearance or attire from the Middle East. That is to say, if in his film Fuller metaphorized racist brutality, the creators of “Dog” dare to embody in a bitch the raw traumas of a war (In fact, Briggs’s character himself suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.) And although this is not the central nucleus of the film, the element is placed there, questioning and interpellating from its externalized tenderness.
3 out of 5 stars.
“DOG: A WILD TRIP”
Genre: comedy, drama.
Country and year: United States, 2022.
Directors: Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin.
Cast: Hanning Tatum, Jane Adams, Kevin Nash.
Where to see it: In theaters.
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“Dog: A Wild Ride”, with Channing Tatum: a film that offers more than you expect | CRITICISM