Red Dog (2011)
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Based on the legendary true story of the Red Dog who united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.
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Critic Reviews for Red Dog
It's not quite as blatant a tearjerker as some of its pooch-based predecessors, and frankly, it's all the better for it.
It's guaranteed to bring tears and laughter to popular audiences, and those who turn up their muzzles at it are on a canine to nothing.
Even hardened blokes will struggle not to choke back a few tears at the end.
Pretty sappy stuff, but the film-makers use knowing humour to snare more cynical viewers and are well-served by the cast.
Heart's in the right place, but very broad and quite irritating too.
Hollywood's own family fare could probably learn a little from this sweet-natured and surprisingly affecting Aussie hit.
Well, it's a doggy story for humans, anyway: an avowedly true-life tale that comes across like a well-meaning PG-certification of the real world.
Shamelessly enjoyable, this raucous Aussie movie keeps us laughing - and ultimately sniffling back the tears - as it recounts an urban myth.
All this is relayed in flashback and the storytelling is a tad episodic but it's exuberantly told, with some engaging characters and colourful visuals. Dog-lovers may even find themselves wiping away a tear or two.
Enjoyable, emotionally engaging doggy drama with likeable characters, a nicely structured script, a strong sense of place and terrific performances from a superb ensemble cast.
The human characters are rather sketchily drawn and the storytelling follows a blandly 'uplifting' path.
Miners are telling Red Dog stories, and so it's essentially a series of personal flashbacks that grow larger with the retelling, exactly the way mythology gets kickstarted.
I was immensely moved by "Red Dog", and I can't picture a movie-goer who won't be. It's wonderful.
Audience Reviews for Red Dog
Sentimental Australian family film and great emotional based-on-a-true-story tale of adventure, love and lasting friendship with a wandering, dust-covered Kelpie. It is familiar to Lassie, Benji and true Hachti as Red Dog is a dog for the soul.
Based on a short story penned by Louis de Bernieres, who was inspired by actual events in Australia, director Kriv Stenders has risen to the challenge. Red Dog is a stunningly shot fable that captures the beauty of the Outback while never losing sight of the human - and canine - spirit needed to exist in the often harsh environs.
Koko the dog plays as title role has expressions that would make some actors look wooden. He steals your heart. The landscapes of the northwest show the expanse of the area, whilst capturing the spirit of the 'settlers' of Dampier, which is a real town. It's a wild country and the stubby shorts the blokes are wearing are so 1970's.
As for star power, Josh Lucas stars as the wanderer turned bus driver John who becomes the one and only de-facto owner of Red Dog as they form a loyal master-dog relationship, with Rachael Taylor playing Nancy his love interest whom he met while serving the community, and she getting into a tussle with Red Dog on his bus. Their romance will form the crux which the story will revolve around briefly, although there are other stories which I enjoyed such as how Red Dog got into assisting an Italian miner Vanno (Arthur Angel) go after a nurse (Keisha Castle-Hughes), and a heart-wrenching moment involving the themes of loyalty and longing. And I was surprised to see two supporting actors, Noah Taylor and Loene Carmen played as married couple, reunited again since 1987's The Year My Voice Broke - almost 25 years.
A great story and a visually rich film, directed beautifully with a good cast of actors. Unfortunately the story is told badly and a couple of dodgy supporting actors are given far too much screen time. That and the disjointed way the story is told (told to some random cardboard-cut-out actor) spoils what could and should have been something special. A huge error in judgement by someone and a massive disappointment.More
A heartwarming Aussie tale about a small mining town setting their differences aside to look after a Kelpie dog by the name of Red Dog. This film made me and my family laugh, cry and generally gave us a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. It stuck such a powerful chord to me and my family, who all of us have been owners of a variety of animals (Corgi breed dogs, rabbits and birds) If you don't feel any strong emotion from this film, you're either selfish or heartless.More
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