A road trip to nowhere
The title of the movie, dogs, radiates a resilience that opens the door to multiple expectations and narrative perspectives. Who is this dog, what does he do, what happens in the plot? Could this be a joke? In a tragedy? From dramatic comedy? From a buddy movie? From a road movie? This initial ambiguity is like footagewho himself never seems to know which register to register, nor, more simply, where exactly to take his story.
dogs however, addresses a very simple postulate to begin with. From the first quarter of an hour, the viewer knows everything there is to know about Jackson Briggsthe protagonist played by Channing Tatum, and Guess that’s easily a good part of the story above. For example, there is no doubt about the general evolution of the relationship between the ranger and the dog: according to a well-known narrative method, the two characters, who are initially hostile to each other, are brought to tame each other and out. stronger from this experience. Granted, this is not necessarily a subtle narrative choice on the part of the two directors, but then, not all films claim to be desirable.
Animals are not man’s best friend
In a certain way, being able to preview the main lines of the three acts of a film can even, sometimes, prove to be wise, and leave the viewer with the pleasure of -concentrate on the many adventures that will lead to meeting the character and his sidekick dog. But then again, that seems to be the case dogs I don’t know which leg to dance on. Very few biases were made in Carolin’s screenplay, and in the few moments when the story finally seemed to be straightforwardly engaged in a narrative, or tonal turn, the footage suddenly took a different direction.
Beyond destabilizing the viewer, and weakening the viewing experience, this lack of identity from which the film suffers sadly encourages it to collect images to color his design. So the scenario is created according to a series of episodic encounters that follow each other, and it is clear that there is no other purpose than to delay Briggs’ arrival at the cemetery where his former comrade in arms will be buried.
Actually, it is not known which film dogs claims that, it’s hard to know how to watch the footagehow to interpret some sequences, some speeches (one wonders, for example, what to take from the part where the dog suddenly attacks an Arab doctor, on the pretext that his traditional dress reminds him of the Taliban he fought beaten in the Middle East), or even, how to capture this unlikely duo.
A pooch that will appeal to both conservatives and liberals
who is a good girl?
The film however makes up for its weaknesses well, thanks in particular to the unmistakable charisma of its lead actor, and the palpable chemistry the three canines later share who plays Lulu. True to form, Channing Tatum lends his features to a bunch of scattered and funny muscles despite himself who nevertheless manages to touch the viewer with some scenes that are specific designed to win her heart.
The performance as a whole is not too far from some of his previous roles, such as those of 21 Jump Street hope White House Down. The actor knows his strengths and limitations, and this is his first time behind the camera exactly what allows him to take pride in the area of his abilities, even if it means that sometimes it borders on megalomania. However, it is not a question of throwing stones at him: in an almost alone stage – because the other main characters are not at all in the most developed lexical field – Tatum was able to give his monologue (as well as a hilarious interpretation from lion died tonight) with an address that must be identified.
His interactions with the dog are even more appreciated because the latter is not overly anthropomorphized, as is sometimes the case in films with canine protagonists. In one of the film’s rare narrative and cinematographic biases, dogs seems to be the opposite of caring too much not to isolate Lulu’s animality, and therefore not lend her much human reaction, whether through training, script, or editing. Through this well-established contrast between man and beast, the film does not need to focus more on what separates the two characters, and therefore easily emphasizes what will eventually bring them closer together.
a movie that makes you crazy
Soon, similarities are brought to light between Briggs and Lulu. Both are former rangers who have been stripped of their duties, and subsequently stripped of their supposed raison d’être.. On the one hand, Tatum’s character is forced to get used to a way of hoping for a civilian life without money with no other hope for the future than serving sandwiches to the poor customers. On the other hand, the dog, who has been trained since birth to follow the soldiers in the field and serves as a reinforcement jaw, unknowingly awaits the euthanasia that is inevitably reserved for him after the funeral of his deceased child.
There is no value in the eyes of the military body, and by extension, in symbols, both characters therefore accuse the same evil. However, the heavy psychological sequelae suffered by humans and dogs should not be subjected to the same treatment. Indeed, where the causes and consequences of Lulu’s post-traumatic stress are much more developed, Briggs’s remains more ambiguous. Should we consider the ins and outs of the dog’s disease as a metaphor to describe that of man, or is it a question of emphasizing the superiority of man, and especially, of soldiers, to can bear all diseases. ?
Tatum and doggie
The difference is not good, especially for a film that aims to address the ambiguities of post-traumatic stress where soldiers often suffer. In a way, the way Carolin’s screenplay fails to properly explore the causes of Briggs’ illness is somewhat representative of what the screenwriter and Tatum wanted to reveal in the beginning. However, if the footage does not respond to a pro-army, or even pro-war discourse, dogs could otherwise be considered a pro-soldier film, with all the gray and ambiguous areas implied.
However, this passion quickly fades into the background, until it becomes a backdrop, at worst unpleasant, at best completely useless. Therefore, the movie never puts much emphasis on the motivations that drive Tatum’s character to so desperately want to wear the uniform again (but here again, we remember that dogs very lacking in stakes and direction), and relying instead on the comic potential of the situation shared by Briggs and Lulu. The ambiguous realization of the Tatum-Carolin duo thus produces several visual gags that, in themselves, would be worth the detour.
The result is a strange, if indescribable experience, which, despite the uncertainty that followed, proved to be pleasant for a long time. The end full of good feelings is of course expected, but after all, it will grab a few tears from the most seasoned viewer, and maybe deep down, you shouldn’t expect more.
The dog is available on Amazon Prime Video since July 22, 2022 in France