"LAST OF THE DOGMEN"

Director: Tab Murphy

Cast:
Tom Berenger
Barbara Hershey

There are a variety of reasons that we enjoy a movie. We may put ourselves in the place of the main character (The Fugitive). We may be challenged by the intricacies of the plot (Pulp Fiction). We may get relief through the cathartic action (Die Hard I thru XII). We may fall in love with one of the characters (While You Were Sleeping). We may just enjoy the environment that the film allows us to be in for a couple of hours (Nell). Or we may have a combination of these and other reasons. That is one of the reasons I love movies. I get satisfaction in a lot of different ways.

Half way through "Last of the Dog Men" I realized that I enjoyed it because I just really liked the main characters and being in the beautiful location with them. The trailers tell us most of the story. There are few surprises. We know that Tom Berenger and Barbara Hershey discover a tribe of indians living deep in the woods untouched by modern times. But, unlike "Dances with Wolves" this film is not built around putting us in the moccasins of those indians. We spend a relatively small amount of time with the tribe. We learn little about their ways and culture, but that is not the purpose of this film. The purpose is for us to experience the trip into the past with the three main characters. This purpose would fail if we didn't like those characters. I liked them. I liked them very much. I liked being with them and just hanging out with them. Although some people may think that is a weak peg to hang a movie on, I do not. For two hours I was in the beautiful mountains with three characters I really liked. Those were enjoyable hours for me. I felt my money was well spent.

I think the film has one weakness. I don't like the narration. It takes you out of the film and puts you back in the seat in the theater. And, since it is third person narration, it depersonalizes the story even more. I hope we get a "Director's Cut" or some other version on tape without the voice over.

But that flaw doesn't prevent me from highly recommending it. I doubt that it will get much acclaim. It came and went without much notice. I have had difficulty finding anyone else who even heard of it. But, I throughly enjoyed it and hope you will as well.

One last thing. I refer to three main characters. To me, the dog Zip was as important and enjoyable a character as the other two leads. Perhaps it is proper that a movie call "Last of the Dogmen" has a dog that is as strong a character as a man.

 

At least, that's the way I saw it.

jack dow