Channing Tatum and a Belgian Shepherd, both with dog eyes - that sounds like a girl's dream! While the Magic Mike star doesn't strip, she pulls out all the stops when it comes to upper body looks to distract from the somewhat formulaic script. But the actor's directorial debut turned out to be a nice buddy road movie with two handsome protagonists.
Man and Malinois: Two decommissioned men on a road trip along the Pacific Coast
Retired soldier Jackson and Malinois dog Lulu are basically old friends - after all, they both served in the army and were retired. Lulu's owner, Jackson's ex-Rangers comrade Riley, died in a crash with a tree. Jackson wants to get back to work instead of brining badly paid sandwiches at a sandwich chain. But after his traumatic brain injury, there is no longer any use for him in the military - just like for the now unpredictable and biting Lulu. Jackson's last chance: to get his boss to put in a good word for him, take Lulu to Riley's funeral and then put him to sleep.
The inspiration for the story: Channing Tatum took his cancer-stricken dog on one last trip along the US Pacific coast. And the lonely bachelor and the orphaned animal race along these 1,000 kilometers in the film "Dog - Das Glück hat vier Pawten". With a lot of feeling, Channing Tatum stages this trip into a future that doesn't bode well for either of them. In doing so, we discover a lot in common between the two dissimilar contemporaries. Both are marked by the war and their injuries. Lulu needs a dog whisperer to get her back on track, Jackson needs someone to show him how to face his feelings. And they've both lost someone - Lulu her master, Jackson his little family because he's no longer in touch with his three-year-old daughter Sam.
Channing Tatum of course shows his trained body - but full of self-mockery
Another directorial team might have boiled this down to a tearful sauce, but newcomer director Channing Tatum and his co-director Reid Carolin rely on quiet emotion and a gentle sense of humor. On the journey through the US pampas, our dream team meets a series of weird characters - and not the typical provincial rednecks of the Trump era, but a lady with a hash plantation and a militant conscientious objector husband or two vegan tantric women who at want to free Jackson from his sexual energy blocks in a threesome.
Biodynamic beer in the new "Woking Class" - that's too much for an average guy like Jackson. No wonder Jackson is alone. Men simply speak a different language than women in "Dog". Perhaps a bit too strikingly, the two directors contrast the man-talk of the tough army guys with that of the young ladies. They just aren't looking for a guy with a "white savior complex" who was shot by the Taliban. But it's amusing. Of course there is also Channing Tatum's toned "Magic Mike" torso to be seen - but also in a beautifully self-deprecating way in a pink magnolia kimono or in a wet T-shirt scene. The man knows how to make a predictable story palatable to us!