it is finally so absorbing because it plays like a lyrical road odyssey that’s also a detective story.
Good films always raise compelling questions, whether the format is fiction or documentary fact.
A movie that not only functions as a solid scarefest but a razor-sharp satire.
A terrific literary drama and character piece that shows how the process of creating art can be seen differently by those doing it and those looking at it from the outside.
RELEASED IN 2016 and directed by Paul Schrader, "Dog Eat Dog" chronicles events in the greater Cleveland area when a trio of loser ex-cons (Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe & Christopher Matthew Cook) is employed by a Mafioso to abduct the infant of a rival gangster.Schrader's films are often preoccupied with Christian religion and sexual obsession (porn, strip joints, prostitution, nudity, etc.), as verified by "Hardcore" (1979), "Cat People" (1982) and "Auto Focus" (2002). You can expect the same with "Dog Eat Dog" except that it mixes black amusement with its urban drama, sleaze and crime thrills. The movie's brutal, funny, ugly and quirky, but with a spiritual thread underneath it all. Think 90's crime drama/thrillers like "Pulp Fiction" (1994), "Mojave Moon" (1996) and "The Way of the Gun" (2000). It's not on the level of "Pulp," but it's more entertaining than the other two. Knowing Schrader, I suspect there's more in the movie than meets the eye and I may up my rating with repeat viewings. Then again, it may be wannabe hip/edgy tripe. You make the call. THE FILM RUNS 1 hour & 33 minutes and was shot in Northeast Ohio (Cleveland & Sheffield Lake) and Tampa, Florida (Restaurant & street scenes and night skyline). WRITERS: Edward Bunker wrote the script based on the novel by Matthew Wilder. GRADE: B-
Obviously, kidnapping babies has not been a good career move for Nicolas Cage. He did it in 1987's "Raising Arizona" and went to that well one more time with this flick. The biggest question I have is why would well regarded and established actors like Cage and Willem Dafoe even agree to appear in a terrible film like this. Maybe it looked good on paper, but boy oh boy, what a mess. By the time Mad Dog (Dafoe) led Diesel (Christopher Matthew Cook) into that abandoned Coast Guard station I had already had enough and was wondering when the 'Dies' would put the Dog out of his misery. Diesel, you didn't let me down. As for the rest of the story, just nonsense, especially when Troy (Cage) shows up again after the TV news report that he and Diesel were dead in the aftermath of the cop shootings at the supermarket. I mean seriously, how did Troy get away from the two officers who were in the process of making him pay? It's called "Dog Eat Dog" for a reason I guess, this one's just a dog.
A trio of recently released ex-cons take on a few high-risk high- reward criminal jobs in order to get a quick cash grab. Will it pay off?There is no plot to this movie, plain and simple. Schrader and the editor seemed to place that on the backburner in order to focus primarily on doing odd camera effects and homages to cinematography styles of film past. There are so many unnecessary scenes and palaver that I really started to nod off a bit. And then, typically in a fashion that is apropros of nothing, a character will go off on a social commentary tangent on the current faults of society. These conversations never felt organic and always completely missed the mark.The last 30 minutes of this movie felt like a series of randomly assorted scenes that someone tossed in together. And that Cage voice over at the end, what was the point? What is this justice you are talking about? I haven't heard anything about this the entire movie and now it's apparently about seeking justice in the world? You attempted to kidnap a baby early that day and killed that baby's mother for absolutely no reason other than the fact that she was upset over the fact that you kidnapped her kid, as would be expected from her!There were a few shots throughout this movie where I thought, "Oh that looks nice" but overall this felt like a major waste of time. There's no plot, bad acting, too much hamminess to be taken seriously but not enough hamminess to be a fun time. I want to criticize the ending but it was really the only way they could go with it at that point. The nihilistic ending ties in nicely with my thoughts on this movie: these men have no purpose... just like this movie.
Nicolas Cage and Paul Schrader has beaten their scores in terms of lack of quality. The movie has a very ordinary e known plot. Badly directed and poor script. Sometimes it tries to remember Tarantino's style but it fails awfully ! I have never saw so many people leaving their chairs from exhibition room during a movie. My surprise is that it was exhibited in a Art Movie Theater in São Paulo, Brazil (Reserva Cultural).