Flandersui Gae (Barking Dogs Never Bite) (Flanders' Dog) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Flandersui Gae (Barking Dogs Never Bite) (Flanders' Dog) Reviews

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April 16, 2016
The directorial debut from Joon-Ho Bong (Snowpiercer, The Host) is a quirky comedy of sorts about a grad student under pressure who loses it over a neighbour's barking dog. A nerdy office worker gets involved in the search for the lost dog(s) and the film follows his story and hers. There are some eccentric characters and odd moments (yes, they do eat dogs in Korea, apparently) but the whole thing seems designed primarily to demonstrate Bong's flair as a director. So, this feels a bit like an audacious show-reel at times and one wonders whether anyone would be interested in this kind of plot otherwise. And, yes, apparently the film did bomb financially at home. Nevertheless, it allowed Bong to graduate to better things (Memories of Murder, Mother) en route to his Hollywood blockbuster success. So, there are some interesting moments here but this is probably only for the curious.
½ February 12, 2016
not funny at all is this dark comedy about dog killers & dog cannibals from S.Korea
½ November 9, 2015
Very enjoyable and easy to watch. Worth a watch!
Very original and therefore compelling.
Laced with black humour throughout.
August 25, 2015
"Barking dogs never bite" Bong Joon-ho's opera prima, is a dark comedy full of misunderstandings and memorable scenes, some of them could seem too rough for animal lovers, but they are just part of the story development and give the precise impression of what the director wants to tell us about his characters.
May 31, 2014
The debut film from the great Korean Director Bong Joon-ho is a film full of black humor and biting commentary on the vacuity and ennui of the urban life.
May 25, 2014
Joon-ho Bong's first film might be his best. Decidedly absurd and surreal in its delivery, Bong somehow finds a way to make the most contemptible characters funny and relatable. The pacing is slow but deliberate, mirroring the ultimate monotony of life for everyone, even psychopathic dog serial killers.
½ January 7, 2014
Dostoyevsky, meet your idiot
December 16, 2013
The telling of the "legend of Boiler Kim" is a cinema gem that has to be seen by any movie nut. Classic.
½ November 17, 2013
At first the film bored quite a bit. I can't relate with the main character, as I really hate him for being such a useless man. But then it gets interesting when Hyun-nam appeared. With all the genuine story telling scenes, I can get more into the film. And eventually the movie turns out very interesting. The story goes well and I like the character Hyun-nam very much.
½ August 17, 2013
Good debut film from Joon-ho Bong. Dark and quirky...definitely worth a watch.
August 16, 2013
I hate animal violence in movies. Joon-ho Bong knows this; it's just one of those things people agree is flat-out not cool. Staying true to its title, "Barking Dogs Never Bite" is a total play on this: hinting at or implying dog death but only rarely delivering on showing it to us. It's a neat trick Bong squeezes laughs out of like hell. Because it is indeed a comedy, commenting on and exploring the weird lives and hobbies of lower-class characters in and around a South Korean apartment complex in the same darkly quirky vein of Akira Kurosawa's "Dodes'ka-den". While not as finely polished as his masterpiece "Mother" or the masterful monster movie "The Host", "Barking Dogs" may leave you baffled, but Bong knows how to get you off. Using subtle camera tricks and trippy, dreamy flashbacks with deeper meaning to them than you might think, it's nothing short of a treat, with Bong expertly and narrowly matching the sour with the sweet.
May 5, 2013
Flandersui Gae (A Dog of Flanders/Barking Dogs Never Bite) (Joon-ho Bong, 2000)

Joon-ho Bong has developed into one of Korea's most popular directors both at home and overseas, first with The Host, the highest-grossing Korean film of all time (viz. review 10Mar2008 ish), and then with Mother, one of the most critically-acclaimed Korean films of all time (viz. review 30Mar2011 ish). But he had a career, and a durned good one, long before coming up with either of those flicks; his second movie, Memories of Murder, is actually my favorite of his flicks (viz. review 1Apr2008 ish), and while it didn't really gain notoriety outside Korea until after he'd gotten big for his other movies, his debut feature, Flandersui Gae (known in English-speaking countries both as A Dog of Flanders and Barking Dogs Never Bite), was a pretty big hit back in the day. If you know Bong's later work, there's not going to be a good deal here that will surprise you-it's got that patented Bong mix of madcap mystery, uncomfortable humor, broad-spectrum ineptitude on the part of his endearing characters, and a sharp, witty script that brings it all together in a pleasurable way.

Plot: Yun-ju (Attack the Gas Station!'s Sun-jae Lee) is a college lecturer who's trying to achieve a professorship in a corrupt culture-it seems to be standard operating procedure for lecturers at his school who want to become professors to "gift" the dean with ten thousand bucks. Problem is, lecturers make peanuts, so where's he going to get that kind of money? As if that's not enough, somewhere in his large, faceless apartment block there's a yappy little dog who refuses to shut up. Yun-ju finds himself driven to extremes-once he has identified the beast, he kidnaps it. When he finds he can't bring himself to kill it, he locks it in a cabinet in the basement. When the missing-dog posters start going up, posted by both the dog's young owner and Hyeon-nam (Spring Bears Love's Doona Bae), an interested bookkeeper from the local tax office who had to give the posters an official stamp to make sure the cops didn't take them down, Yun-ju realizes he's got himself a case of mistaken identity-but when he goes to set the pooch free, it's gone...

And this kicks off a series of misadventures that has the movie careering wildly between missing-dog mystery (animal lovers beware, there are a few scenes you may find uncomfortable despite the large, prominently-displayed title card at the beginning stating that no animals were harmed during the making of the film), romantic comedy, and Richard Linklater-style slacker drama, with the odd action sequence here and there just to keep the viewer on his or her toes. Like Memories of Murder, the end result seems somewhat directionless, and that does seem a bit more of a problem here than it is in Memories of Murder. But not much more; this movie is still a great deal of fun, as well as being quite technically accomplished for it being the director's feature debut. If you're a Joon-ho Bong fan who's never gotten the chance to check this one out, it may not quite measure up to Bong's later efforts, but it's still a pretty good time. ***
½ April 20, 2013
Interestingly, the Flixster description of the plot is so far off the mark that it shows whoever wrote it never actually watched the movie. But it's a decent movie to view.
December 13, 2012
great debut from the creator of the host. satirical, dark, exciting comedy.
November 4, 2012
Quite fun and compelling, but pretty inconsistent. A weak Bong is still a good film though.
August 15, 2012
Don't watch if you love small dogs. Okay film, the director got a whole lot better. There were a few really cool moments in this one.
August 3, 2012
I don't know if I can watch this. In the first five minutes of the film the guy has already tried to strangle the dog and throw it off of a building.. :(
June 18, 2012
Hilarious, offbeat dark comedy out of Korea. I thoroughly enjoyed this film though it could have been even better with a few minor plot tweaks.
½ June 8, 2012
This was disappointing. I'm a big fan of Joon-ho Bong's other films, but his directorial debut is pretty lackluster. There isn't much of a driving narrative to anything here, and it's not really spelled out what it is that some of these characters want. There's definitely gleams of hope here and there, especially with the mix of black humor and satire.

Thank goodness he delivered on those high points and gave us the magnificent 'Memories of Murder', 'The Host' and 'Mother' in the following years. I'll chalk this one up to a learning experience. Watch if you're really invested in getting a full picture of the development of one of Korea's most talented directors. Otherwise, avoid.
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2012
I'm a big fan of Bong Joon-ho's work. Three of my favorite Korean movies are movies he's directed (those being Memories of Murder, The Host and Mother), so I definitely wanted to see this movie. While it's an entertaining movie, it isn't consistently so. Some parts are simply better than others. Which can be said for almost every movie, but it's more noticeable here because of its consistency and pacing issues. But the movie really drags. It drags to the point where it'd have probably been a better as a short film instead of a full length one. It would've been funnier and definitely better paced. The movie does have it's very funny moments and likable leads (in spite of one of them being a dog murderer) and I can say that I still liked the movie with all of its faults.
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