I was going to ignore Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin‘s Dog (UA releasing, 2.18). I love dogs but movies looking to “get” me with emotionally simplistic strategies…later. Then I was told that Dog has an anti-woke streak, and I said “really?” Because you’d never know this from reading the reviews — not the slightest mention of any left-skewing political-cultural attitude. Then I stumbled upon Kyle Smith‘s National Review assessment (2.18), and lo and behold…
“The politically asymmetrical nature of which Americans dismiss veterans is not lost on Carolin and Tatum, and much of the movie amounts to walking a gauntlet through the craziness of Progressive America.
“When Briggs (Tatum) leaves Lulu the dog in a cool, safe car at night, an animal-rights twerp seeks to break a window with a rock to let in some air, until Briggs advises him why this would be a bad idea. ‘Of course you threaten violence, you redneck!’ says the self-appointed animal savior. ‘You’re the one with a rock!’ replies Briggs, and the scene is a wonderful distillation of 2020s progressive mania.
“Briggs (Tatum) goes to a bar to try to pick up a date, but instead he gets an earful from every young wokette: ‘So at what point did you realize you were just a pawn of Big Oil?’ asks one.
“In San Francisco Briggs gets arrested for a hate crime because the dog attacks a Muslim. The cop who processes him, played with impeccably unearned arrogance by the excellent Bill Burr, brags that he, too, served, but it turns out that he was…an M.P. Briggs clearly thinks of these guys as the hall monitors of the military, practically the Hillary Clinton Brigades. “Oh, you were an M.P.?” he says nonchalantly.
Tatum, who in 2017 starred in a hilarious Amazon Prime series, Comrade Detective, that did to Communism what Lulu does to Taliban fighters, gives off a strong sense that he’s turning right these days, at least culturally speaking.
“In a recent interview, he chafed at the suggestion that he was making a movie for middle America. ‘I would not call myself a liberal. I would not call myself a Republican or a Democrat. I’m not political,”’ Tatum told the Associated Press. ‘I do believe that the stereotypes and the generalizations can get us in trouble.
“The news and political stuff, I think we’ve gotten to a place of real miscommunication and misunderstanding,” he added. “What does that even mean, to make movies for Middle America? I find it really strange even the concept of going, ‘We want to make a movie for these people.’”
“The stereotypes he’s referring to are, I think, the ones dreamed up by condescending coastal liberals and their allies. Dog is a rebuke to them and to the way the culture in general treats some of our finest humans like animals to be put down.”
I have not yet seen Dog. Im thinking of maybe catching it tonight. Has anyone had the pleasure?