Wednesday 6 March 2024

Dogman (2024)

"Luc Besson's JOKER - With Dogs...(Sort Of)"

Writer-directot Luc Besson's latest feature gets a Blu-ray and digital release from Altitude Films.

Doug (Caleb Landry Jones) is stopped by the police after the abandoned school he calls home is found full of dead bodies. The van he is driving also happens to be full of very much living dogs, who he assures the police won't hurt them as long as the dogs don't feel Doug is under threat.

Confined to a police cell he is interviewed by psychologist Evelyn (Jojo T Gibbs). In flashback we see the story of his awful upbringing by his father and brother who kept fighting dogs and who imprisoned him in the dogs' cage. Befriended by the animals who became his loyal companions, the number of dogs Doug looked after only increased when he starting working for the local pound. Now he has a veritable canine army who are happy to do his bidding.

DOGMAN feels like JOKER by way of WILLARD, only with dogs instead of rats. It also feels like a film with a few too many ideas to form a satisfactory story. Doug is more or less paralysed from the waist down from a gunshot injury by his father, he sings at a nightclub in drag, and he has trained his dogs to steal from rich people's houses. 

The result is a film that feels like a grungy super-villain origin story, but one that bumps along in too many fits and starts to satisfy the comic-book crowd. That said Jones is excellent in another quirky role, as are all the dogs, and any film directed by Luc Besson is worth checking out. DOGMAN is a far cry from his more recent glossy SF efforts like LUCY or VALERIAN and while it's nowhere near as good as NIKITA or LEON if you've ever been a fan of the director it's definitely worth checking out. Here's the trailer:

Luc Besson's DOGMAN is out on Blu-ray and Digital from Altitude Films on Monday 11th March 2024

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