Fantasia 2017: Our Review of ‘Savage Dog’

Posted in Fantasia 2017, Festival Coverage, Movies by - July 15, 2017
Fantasia 2017: Our Review of ‘Savage Dog’

Revenge can be cold and brutal, but it is also the stuff of legends…

Set in a land without law, Savage Dog takes us to the year 1959 in Indochina where Martin (Scott Adkins) an ex-IRA enforcer finds himself in an Indochina jail forced to take part in savage and vicious underground fights that are ruled over by the warden who also has the bulk of the surrounding townsfolk living in fear under his oppressive thumb.  Convinced into granting him an appeal, Martin is set free and begins life a new as a bouncer at a local bar.  However things take an unexpected turn one night as Martin beats up some rowdy patrons, one of who happens to be a champion fighter that the Warden has brought into fight.  Now with his new friends in jeopardy, he has to get back in the ring to make things right and discover who he was truly meant to be.

While it’s a little overwrought with the melodrama, Savage Dog is an ode back to the 1980’s with action that is afraid to wash itself in the dark light of gritty revenge.

Writer/Director Jesse V Johnson does overdo it just a little bit with an unnecessary voice over and some hard leans into melodramatic storytelling but I can’t say that it doesn’t have a certain amount of flow and genuine charisma to it all.  Admitedly some of the visual effects aren’t the greatest, but the fight scenes are well staged and the action set pieces that blow the shit out of the jungle are well done.  Scott Adkins will hardly be called a ‘thespian’ in any life time but he evokes some genuine emotion from the audience while the world goes to hell around him.

Savage Dog is gritty and intense fun that hits VOD on July 18th.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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