Black Dog (1998)
August 22nd, 2007 by Maxim · No Comments · 3,384 Views
I must have seen this movie a 100 times already, but I can watch it more. It’s one of my favorite movies along with Rush Hour (1), The Police Academy (1) and Lethal Weapon (1). And probably the best movie the dirty dancer Patrick Swayze was ever in. It’s just as cheesy as Die Hard movies and the plot is paper-thin, but the truck driving action directed by Kevin Hooks is unmatched.
Patrick Swayze plays Jack Crews (catchy name, eh? “…cruising behind the Crews…”) - an ex-con who used to be a damn good truck driver, but killed some people with his truck after he fell asleep behind the wheel. He’s on parole and got a low-wage job as a mechanic. The movie starts with a cliché: foreclosure notice. $9,000 are overdue for the mortgage, which implies that his family is in desperate situation. Now he has to take any job he’ll be offered. His assignment: drive across the country to smuggle truck load of guns. Besides the illegal load that can put him in jail for another term, he doesn’t have the license, so he has to be very cautious. But someone is trying to hijack the cargo.
Jack Crews always has his eyebrows shaped like Steven Segal and grinds his teeth. Meat Loaf was not a good villain (Red): he’s more like Jack-in-the-box manager. He also quotes random passages from the Bible for no apparent reason. “Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! You are finished, Crews! Your ass is mine!”
There are holes in this primitive plot. So big they are you can drive a semi-truck through them. Almost every car Crews had rammed exploded in a fireball. What a spectacle! And it has a Camaro in it, just like The Transformers. That being said, in one scene the front bumper was broken and in the next shot it was OK. Not one of the attacking cars, trucks and motorcycles ever thinks about shooting tires: they all go directly for the driver. The comic relief here are an FBI agent (Charles Dutton) and an ATF agent (Stephen Tobolowsky), who hate each other in the beginning, but learn to put up with each other later for the better good. The ATF guy was behaving like psychoanalytic, always saying things about how the other agent is feeling.
Great camera work: nice editing and the angles make those rigs look enormous. There’s a lot of shots of gear shifting, but the pace of the movie is fine.
Nice country music. Original score created by George S. Clinton, who also contributed to dozens of movies including Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Astronaut’s Wife, Ready to Rumble, 3000 miles to Graceland etc.
The ending is dull and predictable; there was so much action leading to it that it seemed just like yet another out-of-place action scene. And, can you believe, FBI not only returned Crews’s license, but paid $9,000 foreclosure.
This is the best movie in truck action genre. Although the plot could have been written by a 10-year old, the movie redeems its deficiencies with the best truck-on-truck action ever.
I don’t know how this movie title came to be. I’ve seen this movie many times, but I swear I could not remember the title – it just does not associate for me with the content.
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