Dog Eat Dog (18) | Close-Up Film Review


Dir. Paul Schrader, US, 2016, 93 mins

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Matthew Cook

Dark, throwaway pulp crime fun with heavy weight names attached.

Three repeat offenders set out to repeat offend, namely heists and kidnapping, in this madcap violent offering.

There’s something fascinating about watching Dog Eat Dog. Is it that it’s quite appealing to see famous actors over-expend themselves on low-concept material? Or see them acting brutally, in an amoral mode? Or is it the tone of the film itself, which invites us to laugh at the stupidity and brutality of these perps, while luxuriating in their acts of violence? A Trump of a film, then.

That tone is very late 80s, borrowed from US crime fiction of that era. Eddie Bunker may have written the source book in the mid-90s but the real surprise is that the tone is there at all (it’s there in the book too). After all, Bunker was considered an ‘insider’ crime writer, having spent 18 years of his life in jail before becoming an actor and writer.

No way will this feel worth the price of a West End cinema seat but it is worth a look.

A definite maybe for home entertainment if only to watch old pros enjoying themselves.

Review by Colin Dibben