Opening 19 May 2022
Co-directors Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin’s debut feature film’s action does not waver, and Reid Carolin and Brett Rodriguez’s co-written screenplay’s storyline is fresh and novel with nicely ingrained humor. The US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment is its leading Special Operations Force. Lethal, flexible, and agile, it’s involved in complicated joint missions around the world in support of the US agendas, just as military working dogs are vital assets to the armed forces.
Former Ranger Jackson Briggs (Channing Tatum) is plagued by the physical effects from past service actions, yet desperate for a new position, and that hinges on an officer’s sign-off. So, when a Ranger veteran from his unit dies, Captain Jones (Luke Forbes) issues Briggs a challenging mission – deliver the former Ranger canine to its former handler’s funeral in Arizona. Plus, they cannot fly since Lulu—a lovely Belgian Malinois—is too severely traumatized. Confined in the close quarters of Jack’s Ford Bronco truck with “Dog” muzzled, and almost as mercurial as Jack with stress-induced issues, their unique odyssey down the Pacific Coast comprises some funny, and not so funny, pit-stops and close-calls, expansive time-outs, and detours down memory lane. When Lulu/Dog’s brother and Noah (Ethan Suplee) take the lead, thus swaying the course of their journey to an almost preordained destination.
Dog is a tribute to Lulu, the real-life military canine introduced above the opening title credits. It took three dogs to fill Lulu’s paws: Britta, Lana 5, and Zuza albeit Britta got the largest share of onscreen-time. Tatum began “warming up” to them almost a year in advance—thanks to COVID-19. Bred for herding, Belgian Malinois require activity and attention, and are better suited for specialized work than as family dogs. Tatum has a couple “badges of honor” from filming and divulged, “I can’t tell you how many scenes in the movie are only one take because that’s all we got.”
The two-legged cast are good, and production values are worthy: Newton Thomas Sigel’s cinematography, Leslie Jones’ editing, and Thomas Newman’s music. Captivating and fun, Dog - Das Glück hat vier Pfoten's gist is: Man’s best friends are dogs, so conversely, is (this) man Dog’s best friend. (Marinell Haegelin)