Based on the legendary true story of the Red Dog who united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.
I love that D is so open to quirky titles he finds on the shelves at Blockbuster. Longtime readers will see a pattern of small movies I had never heard of, that D brought home to “check out”, that we end up loving. Red Dog is no exception.
Unlike some animal movies that tug at your heartstrings, this one lets you know up front the ending is sad. The story begins with the discovery that somehow Red Dog has been poisoned with strychnine. In a way, that knowledge lets you off the hook a bit, but it also makes some of the following scenes that much more poignant.
As the residents of Dampier gather at the club where the veterinarian is tending to their furry friend, they share stories of how they met Red and how he impacted their lives. Confidante, matchmaker, lifesaver…Red filled many roles. He truly represents all the wonderful canine qualities that make me glad humans decided dogs should be domesticated.
In fact, though the entire cast is competent and colorful, a big part of the magic comes from the perfect casting of our hero. If you don’t fall for Red (and Koko, who plays him) you have no heart.
Familiar faces include Rachael Taylor, Josh Lucas, and Keisha Castle-Hughes (all grown up). I don’t think you could make a movie in Australia without including Bill Hunter; always good for a smile, he delivered here in a very brief appearance (sadly, his final film role).
As they say; you’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll also enjoy the ride – and you may want to go find yourself an Australian Kelpie to love. Great small movie for young and old.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 81%; Audience 82%