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Dogman (Blu-ray Review)

2 min read

Courtesy of Altitude

The opening sequence of man in drag, bleeding, driving a huge truck with a pack of dogs in the back, sets up the film to be one hell of story, but very soon turns into a very melancholic tale that never really seems to quite fit together. Dogman, the latest film from genre director , is, on the surface an intriguing story, highly character driven full blood, sweat and tears. But delve deeper and the plot falls apart, with just great performances from and Jojo T. Gibbs to hold it all together.

After being arrested while driving around with a truck full of dogs in New Jersey, Doug Munrow relates his life story to psychiatrist Evelyn. After surviving an abusive childhood that left in a wheelchair, Doug finds comfort in the theatre but importantly with his dogs he cares for at the shelter where he works. But after helping those who helped him, Doug soon finds himself on the wrong side of local gangsters. Luckily, Doug's dogs are loyal to him, no matter what.

Caleb Landry Jones gives a fantastic multi fascinated performance. He is able to mine the depths of a disturbed and lonely character and stand up on stage and lip-sync to Edith Piaf with great enthusiasm. Doug and his dogs are the only focal point of this strangely structured story and together they are fascinating, however, no matter great a performance Jones gives us and how well trained the dogs are, this isn't enough to sustain the film.

Although the film is basically a life story retelling, the segments of Doug's life that we see don't quite flow together. One minute Doug is living in a home, infatuated with theatre and in innocent love with one of the carers there, and then we see him working at a dog shelter, back with his beloved dogs. There's no hint to the in-between and what happened, we are left to assume he continued to live a lonely childhood into adulthood.

There is a hint to Doug becoming the ‘dogman' of the title, as he takes revenge on those in need, but we only see this part of his life in practice once. The mystic that is built up around Doug and his ‘dogman' persona feels like an add on to make him feel more powerful. But these overall feels cut short and should have possibly been the focus of the film.

With a fantastic central performance propping the film, Dogman sadly feels underwhelming in parts due to the uneven structure and story.

Dogman will be released on Blu-ray & Digital 11th March