Paul Schrader rears his directorial head for an ugly film that's hell bent on death, destruction, committing disgusting crimes against men women and police officers, and pushing as many buttons as he possibly can. What a ride, man.
There is some ambiguous message rooted deeply in his latest release. However, I'm still not sure exactly what it is. As much as I'd like to say I hated this movie, there's some type of hook here. With tones about the familial bond between violent criminals, scenes of absolute carnage, and a strange religious message about the afterlife, Dog Eat Dog is arthouse cinema for the perverted minds that enjoy satirical jaunts with blood thirsty criminals and their misguided attempts at going straight. At times, this is wacky and weird. At others, it's almost hard to watch. Maybe, that's what he was going for. No matter what, it's good to see Schrader doing something cool like this.
Schrader's Dog Eat Dog is a visceral experience with three actors trying to do their damnedest to outperform each other in a film that can only be categorized as pulp fiction that has black blood pumping through its distinctly noir veins. This isn't a pretty motion picture. However, it's a positive turn away from what he tried with his Lindsay Lohan vehicle, The Canyons. Still reeling from the abysmal failures of that terrible movie, Dog Eat Dog is a much tighter answer to the people that question his ability to continue as a director. Up until the final stretch, everything about this movie will get under your skin. It's dirty. It's filthy. It's an abomination that pushes grit in your face from beginning to end. And it accomplishes exactly what Schrader is going for. He wants to push you over the edge.
|We're the good guys. Nope. Not really. Who brought the drugs?|
Cage is almost relevant again as he starts to break the box he's been trapped in for the past decade. His performance is much more collected and calm. It's only in limited moments that he slides back into the goofy caricature that he's become. Willem Dafoe plays a morally corrupt character that borrows from every bad guy he's ever played. He's murky and cold, but just wants to be loved. Christopher Matthew Cook actually defies the odds and steals the spotlight from these two seasoned actors. Together, this armed trio of shameless crooks is like The 3 Stooges on crank. Their plans are wicked. Their souls are committed to hell. And their de-evolution into absolute madness is a great watch.
Dog Eat Dog is not your everyday crime flick. There's violence against women and children. There's scenes of heads exploding into goo. There's excessive acts aimed at the police. And the lack of morals that's displayed all over this movie will make your head spin. No one is good. Almost everyone in this movie is corrupt in some shape or form. Whether or not you can handle it is up to you. It's not shocking that this went straight to streaming services. Its extreme nature will definitely be a turnoff for many. Myself, I was reminded of Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant. That made me grin from ear to ear.
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