Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Black Dog (1998)
Patrick Swayze is Jack Crews, a former truck driver who has been on parole, barred from driving a truck and trying to make ends meet for his family. Desperate to keep their house, he takes on a job delivering a shipment his boss has ordered. This being an action film, it turns out to be a shipment of illegal merchandise and he must keep clear of the feds as well as Meat Loaf as a Lotto obsessed Jesus freak who wants to hijack the truck.
And yes, the second I saw his character in this film I did fall in love with it. Bad acting, coupon clipping and all, the very concept of the character is enough to make me laugh my butt off. How can you not love a movie where the bad guy has a sinister conversation with his boss while clipping coupons?
Swayze is his usual cool self (just think the guy from Road House, only he drives a truck) and Randy Travis has some nice moments as Jack's sidekick. Outside of that, the acting is what it needs to be with Charles Dutton and Stephen Tobolowsky as the feds looking for Crews. There's a bit of cheesy back and forth with them but not so much that it overwhelms the proceedings.
On the action front, it's a smorgasbord of incredible truck stunts, all done for real which, given the time period in which the film was made is a small miracle. We get trucks doing rolls, some nice explosions, stuff gets smashed, everything you could possibly want from an action movie with huge trucks.
Black Dog is a good old fashioned beer-and-pizza movie that sets out to just be a fun way to kill 90 minutes, and it succeeds admirably. The action is great, the acting is what it needs to be and it's a damn shame it's not better known.