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  • Justin Louallen

Dog Eat Dog Review

Justin here. I'm reviewing the crime/thriller film Dog Eat Dog, directed by Paul Schrader, starring Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, and Christopher Matthew Cook. The film is about a trio of criminals who are recruited by a Cleveland gangster to kidnap a baby of another gangster. I was actually looking forward to this film after seeing the trailers of it. I'll be honest, this one I felt was highly underwhelming. Here are my pros: I liked Nicolas Cage in this. He seemed to be at least giving one of his better performances I've seen from him since Face/Off where he's the crazy Nic Cage that we know and love, which is funny because in this film his name is Troy. The performance that was the highlight was Willem Dafoe. Every scene he was in, I enjoyed how crazy his character "Mad Dog" was. He clearly had a blast doing this role and added a lot of dark humor. I also liked the visual style that Schrader used throughout that gave it a Natural Born Killers feel where it shows a lot of red, blue, black/white, and pink colors throughout the film. It got really brutal in a lot of scenes too, especially at the beginning when Dafoe's character was introduced and all of the carnage that happened afterward. With that being said, I have quite a few cons in the film that bothered me. After the first 30-35 minutes, I really lost investment in the story. When they get to the house where the baby is at, the movie went in a completely different direction that threw me off because there are plot points that go absolutely nowhere and are never resolved. We also have motivations for characters that are not really clear by the end and it left me scratching my head at what the whole point of it was. The direction also fell flat with a lot of scenes being repeated inside this strip club and it kept boring me. Not to mention, there's a part that has one of the worst edits I've seen involving a police car chase and it ended so fast that I couldn't tell what happened. Overall, I feel like that without the visual style, Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, I would've turned it off. I'm going to give Dog Eat Dog a 4/10.

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