Carved from a lifetime of experience that runs the gamut from incarceration to liberation, Dog Eat Dog is the story of three men who are all out of prison and now have the task of adapting themselves to civilian life.
RELEASED IN 2016 and directed by Paul Schrader, “Dog Eat Dog” chronicles events in the greater Cleveland area when a trio of loser ex-cons (Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe & Christopher Matthew Cook) is employed by a Mafioso to abduct the infant of a rival gangster.
Schrader’s films are often preoccupied with Christian religion and sexual obsession (porn, strip joints, prostitution, nudity, etc.), as verified by “Hardcore” (1979), “Cat People” (1982) and “Auto Focus” (2002). You can expect the same with “Dog Eat Dog” except that it mixes black amusement with its urban drama, sleaze and crime thrills.
The movie’s brutal, funny, ugly and quirky, but with a spiritual thread underneath it all. Think 90’s crime drama/thrillers like “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Mojave Moon” (1996) and “The Way of the Gun” (2000). It’s not on the level of “Pulp,” but it’s more entertaining than the other two. Knowing Schrader, I suspect there’s more in the movie than meets the eye and I may up my rating with repeat viewings. Then again, it may be wannabe hip/edgy tripe. You make the call.
THE FILM RUNS 1 hour & 33 minutes and was shot in Northeast Ohio (Cleveland & Sheffield Lake) and Tampa, Florida (Restaurant & street scenes and night skyline). WRITERS: Edward Bunker wrote the script based on the novel by Matthew Wilder.