Well, you wait decades for a film about military dogs with PTSD, and two come along in a month. But while Dog’s cutesy poster concealed a rather adult view of soldier and dog as a couple of filthy animals, Dakota is a much more wholesome proposition. So don’t look for much edge in this new film from Kirk Harris, who previously helmed Bernie the Dolphin, but there is a market for family-friendly films and if you can handle the withering assessment of low professional standards in the Georgia police department, Dakota delivers the dog-friendly sentiments required.
Somehow Abbie Cornish from profane chat-fests Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards is the lead in this; it’s certainly a change of direction from Martin McDonough’s flinty dialogue. Cornish plays Kate, a single mom who lost her husband Clay when he signed up for the US army and died in Afghanistan. Kate and her daughter Alex (Lola Sultan) live in a small-town in Georgia where they seem to have inherited the job of maintaining a fire service. They barely have any money, but still welcome Clay’s friend (Tim Rozon) when he delivers the traumatised ex-service dog Dakota back to the household.
That’s not enough plot for one movie, so we throw in Patrick Muldoon as a crooked copper called Danforth who discovers that Kate’s homestead in built on land rich with diamonds and tries to con her out of it. And a Baldwin always adds something, so step forward William Baldwin as a gold-loving grandfather with a few physical ailments, allowing for a hospital scene.
If it sounds hokey, it is, but that’s what a film like this aims to do; it’s agreeably old-fashioned, and whether you’re a dog-lover, or just enjoy wholesome family entertainment, Dakota hits the right spot for canine appreciation. It’s simple, inoffensive fare for those who feel that movies are getting out of control; while not as prescient as Dog, it’s a home-spun, sunny alternative that’s far more friendly for kids, and that’s a genuine selling point in 2022.
Dakota is in US theaters April 1st and on digital May 20th 2022 and the same date in the UK from Universal Pictures.
However, it does bring up the interesting versatility of the word ‘Dakota’. Not only two American states, but a Stereophonics song, a cigarette brand, a subtribe of the Sioux (and their language) and now mawkish dog tripe too.
Fanning and Johnson too.
I think I’ll see Dog but give this one a miss, I’d rather not do Hokey, so Nope.
For a lady of sophistication, Dog is better, but Dakota is a better fit for family audiences..:
That’s fine I am the former and not the latter.
The Incredible Journey is the hallmark though Savage Sam comes close.
It’s been slim pickings for dog movies lately since the glory days of Rin-Tin-Tin, Lassie, and Benji. Glad to see Dakota getting some work though.
I’ve got Greyfriars Bobby and White Dog coming soon!
So do you need a haircut or are your ears really big?
And my tongue hangs out a bit, I know.
Well, if there’s a good steak around, who could blame you?
Have you got one?
Nope, no steaks around here. I could probably dig up some old crackers though. Interested?
Plenty of old crackers around here…
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