A boy, bruised by life, finds his salvation through the love of his dogs.

  • Released: 2023-06-15
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Genre: Action, Drama, Western
  • Stars: Caleb Landry Jones, Marisa Berenson, Christopher Denham, Jojo T. Gibbs, James Payton, Frédéric Guérin, Bennett Saltzman, Gwyneth Anne Trumbore, Derek Siow, Avant Strangel, Corinne Delacour, Naima Hebrail Kidjo, Luing Andrews, Aven Campau, Jeff Mantel, William Sciortino, C.C. DeNeira, Genevieve O'Neal, Laetitia Mampaka, Michael Garza
  • Director: Luc Besson
  • Kronaut - 3 June 2024
    A great movie
    The characters are truly the highlight of this movie, driving the story forward. I love how the main character's background slowly unravels, supported by great acting.

    However, despite its many strengths, some unrealistic details bothered me. For instance, the main character is given a lighter by a cop, allowed to smoke in his holding cell, and even given a razor. While these elements don't affect the story's progression, they are small annoyances that detract from the overall impression.

    The acting from the psychologist is also excellent. She has an intriguing backstory that the movie could have explored in greater depth.

    Overall, it's close to an eight, but these minor details lead me to rate it a 7.
  • IonicBreezeMachine - 3 May 2024
    Luc Besson makes a massive comeback with an endearingly odd character study anchored by Caleb Landry Jones's hypnotic performance
    In Newark, New Jersey, a paraplegic man named Doug Munrow (Caleb Landry Jones) is arrested after being found driving a truck full of dogs while dressed in drag. Unsure of what to do with him, the state assigns psychiatrist Evelyn (Jojo T. Gibbs) to evaluate him which leads to Doug telling her his life story where his love of dogs saved him from his abusive father and older brother and sent him on a path of protecting all the strays he came across as well as the unconventional means by which he provided for them.

    Dogman is the comeback for writer director Luc Besson who following a series of underperforming risky business ventures like the Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution venture with Relativity Media or Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets and allegations which have since been cleared saw the prolific director/writer/producer take a hiatus from the industry with his last film being 2019's Anna. While the film's marketing by Briarcliff has positioned the film as a quirky modestly budgeted action thriller of the John Wick-mold it doesn't quite sell how offbeat and character based the film is making it a pretty entertaining ride.

    From the scenes in the marketing you might think this is a straightforward revenge narrative and while there is some dishing out of revenge there's also a surprisingly good character study at play. Dogman undeniably touches upon ongoing social issues like wealth disparity, religion, systemic indifference, and animal cruelty but at the same time it doesn't forget what kind of movie it is and indulges in all manner of fun genre nonsense from Doug's dogs stealing from wealthy neighborhoods or Doug's hideout that leads to an inspired third act that needs to be seen to be believed. Caleb Landry Jones is excellent as Doug who fully commits to the eccentric and bizarre world of the film and he's well paired with Jojo T. Gibbs' Evelyn who serves as a strong sounding board against Doug in their scenes together. The biggest criticism would probably be a thread involving Evelyn's ex husband that seems like it's being setup for a payoff that never comes through, but when the movie keeps delivering surprise after surprise it's hard not to recommend.

    Dogman is probably some of the most fun I've had with a movie this year and I couldn't have been happier walking in as blind as I was. Whatever movie you're expecting from the marketing I guarantee you the reality breaks from your expectations in the best possible ways.
  • subxerogravity - 31 March 2024
    Unexpectedly well done!
    That unexpected part comes from the fact that I had no idea that it was directed by the great Luc Bensen. A pair of tights and a cape away from being the perfect comic book origin of a superhero Dogman is a character development piece that was formally crafted. It's stories like this that make characters like Batman and Spider-man stand the test of time.

    Did not know what to expect but got everything. An memorable performance by Caleb Landry Jones and a new one i never seen before Jojo Gibbs who plays a psychiatrist Dogman tells his story to. A story that had me as much on the edge of my seat wanting more as the character was.