‘Dog’, with Channing Tatum, shows why the dog is still the best person – 05/20/2022

There is absolutely nothing new in this “Dog – The Adventure of a Lifetime”. This comedy-infused drama, with Channing Tatum front and center, delivers the exact emotional impact expected of a film with pets.

If the heartache doesn’t take long to arrive (I’ll explain in a bit), the surprise here is how the journey gets more and more complicated. Perhaps because of the complete honesty with which the plot is conducted. Perhaps to escape the easy drama.

Or maybe because Tatum, making his directorial debut alongside producer Reid Carolin, is proving to be a solid idea-maker, balancing easy-to-follow visual language with a script that has more flesh on it. his bones than he suggests.

Lulu is the canine protagonist of ‘Dog’

Picture: Diamond

That doesn’t take away from the star’s natural charm, who obviously also jumps in front of the cameras, but also the good chemistry he has with his canine co-star, the Belgian shepherd Lulu (“played” by three animals).

“Dog” is a road movie with a mission. Jackson Briggs (Tatum) is a soldier who returned home with obvious PTSD. Without a specific goal, he tries alongside his active colleagues to return to a military post in Pakistan.

The possibility arises when he is tasked with caring for another war-traumatized veteran: Lulu, who after a life of hunting down insurgents on the battlefield has returned to the care of her guardian, Riley Rodriguez.

When a seemingly premeditated accident takes Riley’s life, Lulu becomes an ownerless problem. She is considered unstable, prone to mood swings, and potentially dangerous.

Still, Riley’s family asked her to attend the funeral, and it’s up to Briggs to drive Lulu from the base in Tacoma, in the northwest United States, to the ceremony in Arizona. She will then be sacrificed.

With this premise, “Dog” travels familiar paths both for a road movie about adventures with animals. Hesitant at first, Briggs comes to understand Lulu’s ailments better with every stop, intentional or otherwise, along the way.

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Briggs gives Lulu the strength to hit the road

Picture: Diamond

At every step, whether it’s the promise of threesomes with two young women, interacting with a couple who grow an industrial amount of marijuana at home, or meeting another veteran turned tutor to Lulu’s brother, changes Briggs’ perspective on his role in the military and the mistakes that haunt his life.

To further thicken the narrative mass, “Dog” touches, even superficially, on a thorny issue in the United States: the legion of soldiers who return from the front suffering from post-traumatic stress, and the immense difficulty in discovering veterans seeking help. help, deconstructing the image of indestructible warriors raised in military indoctrination.

It’s a subtext that helps anchor “Dog” in a real dilemma, and an opportunity for Tatum to flex some dramatic muscle on a story that could easily be reduced to the cliche “tear movie of the week.”

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Channing Tatum outdoors with co-director Reid Carolin

Picture: Diamond

Tears, of course, are inevitable. Mostly because there is an immediate identification, especially for those who live with dogs, of the extreme loyalty they have to their guardians. It’s a bond that’s hard to describe, but unbreakable once formed.

The mix of road movie and war drama isn’t exactly the most appealing, but Lulu’s presence, with attention to her journey as well, makes “Dog” an honest and engaging show.

Not to mention that Tatum and Carolin’s film is also an increasingly rare species: the medium-sized adult film that leaps the trap of existing only in Diffusion to successfully win a movie break.

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