Complete A-Z list

Red Dog


Stars: Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Koko, Noah Taylor, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Luke Ford, Bill Hunter, Paul Blackwell, Jacquy Phillips, Loene Carmen, Arthur Angel

Director: Kriv Stenders

There'll be few dry eyes in the house at the end of this doggy tail - sorry, tale - supposedly based on true events in Australia's Northwest territory of the 1970s.

It's difficult to grasp all the characters in the small mining community of Dampier, but then Red Dog, an Australian cattle dog, comes into their lives and, by the end of the film, we've got to know them all, especially the Italian too shy to ask out the local vet's nurse, the morose guy widowed by a car crash, the toughie who knits in his spare time, and many more.

Then John Grant (charismatically played by Hollywood's Lucas) blows into town to drive the local bus. Red Dog's loyalty is instant, and he gets jealous when John romances Nancy (Rachael Taylor), even though it interrupted the canine's own feud with Red Cat, a ferocious feline owned by the officious couple who run the local trailer park.

The film's a bit difficult to get into, but its impact is fully felt by the end; the score is nice, the photography of the red-earthed countryside by Geoffrey Hall a constant pleasure, and Koko the dog a real crowd-pleaser. Only complaint: the 'actor' playing Red Cat, who has quite a lot to do, is uncredited at the end. Unfair to cats.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: G2 Pictures. Colour by deluxe.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 Feb 2012