- Director:Kriv Stenders
- Cast:Keisha Castle-Hughes, Luke Ford, Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Noah Taylor
- Release Date:August 04, 2011
- Running time:92 minutes
- Film Worth:$18.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
“…moving, uplifting and very funny. It has the potential to be a homegrown hit.”
Without going into hyperbole, Red Dog is a perfect piece of cinema. As far as dog movies go, it's up there with the greatest. Anyone who's ever owned a dog will love this tale of a canine's search for his master. But Red Dog is also about people. The idea of community spirit, aided by an energetic troupe of characters, underpins the story.
Set in Dampier, WA, a young truckie (Luke Ford) from out of town arrives at a pub and walks right into the middle of a drama. As the night unfolds, he is told - Citizen Kane-style - the story of Red Dog (a pitch-perfect performance from Koko the red kelpie). Each player shares their stories about the stray that changed their seventies mining town, and about Red Dog's relationship with main man John (American Josh Lucas) - who Red Dog chose as his human companion - and John's love interest, Nancy (Rachael Taylor).
Based on a true story that was reworked as a children's tale by Captain Corelli's Mandolin author Louis De Bernieres, the real story reportedly contains human elements that are darker and grittier than seen here. Nevertheless, the story on screen is wonderful, and director Kriv Stenders (Boxing Day, Lucky Country) avoids the cutesy and the mushy, and focuses on story and characters. The often stunning cinematography and killer retro rock soundtrack add to the joy. Josh Lucas and particularly Rachael Taylor are excellent, but this is essentially an ensemble piece, with a fine cast that includes a never better Noah Taylor. Underneath, there's the shadow of the standard template for a feel-good flick. But it doesn't matter, because it works. Red Dog is moving, uplifting and very funny. It has the potential to be a homegrown hit. And if it isn't, then there's something seriously amiss. It's the all-encompassing journey that movie trailers always promise to take you on.