Ridiculous Fun?: Our Review of ‘Dogman’

Posted in Movies by - April 05, 2024
Ridiculous Fun?: Our Review of ‘Dogman’

Throughout his career Luc Besson has been known for two things in his films, style and action. From Taken and The Fifth Element, to Léon: The Professional and Le Femme Nikita, Besson’s films are nothing, if not entertaining. There is another term however that one can use to describe many of his less-successful films, and that’s ridiculous. Dogman encompasses all three of those elements. For many directors that would mean the final product is a bit of a mess, but for Besson it’s much worse than that; it’s an utmost disaster.

Dogman follows the story of Douglas Munrow (Caleb Landry Jones). He’s a man whose crazed Christian dad and brother forced him to live in a cage with fighting dogs while growing up. Douglas gets older and escapes his prison. By then, he finds that his bond with the animals has grown. It comes to the point where he can get them to do whatever he wants, including committing burglaries. Unfortunately his crimes don’t go unnoticed. And soon, he’s forced to deal with not only an insurance agent hot on his, ahem, tail. But a local gangster who has some ideas of his own on how to use the canines to his advantage.

If the description sounds rather out there to you, you wouldn’t be wrong. In fact the movie is so ridiculous that many people will turn it off or walk out of the theatre before finishing it. The thing is, it’s not even a wholly original story either. The 1970’s saw the release of Willard, a story about a man and his army of rats, which was just as crazy, yet so much better. Jones even seems to be copying Bruce Davidson’s campy performance from that film, but in a much less enjoyable way. It doesn’t help that Besson’s script is over-the-top, and feels the need to explain every last detail as Munrow tells his story to the police psychiatrist.

Even with all that negativity, there’s still something compelling about Dogman that makes you want to see what happens next. Maybe it’s because it feels like a trainwreck that you can’t turn away from. Or maybe it’s because it feels like a B (or even C or D) movie. One that you’d watch late at night on a local channel.  It could even be the fact that Jones seems so committed to the role. You can’t help but wait for a moment when he breaks character. Spoiler alert, he doesn’t. At the very least the film doesn’t bore you. It’s so odd it keeps on rolling, even when it really shouldn’t.

Dogman is the type of film that could very easily become a cult classic several years down the road. While it won’t be a hit at the box office, and won’t be talked about around water coolers, it will be discussed by those who enjoy ludicrous films that would be best forgotten.

This post was written by
While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as Realstylenetwork.com. He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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