Red Dog: True Blue
Village Jam Factory- Sunday 18 December 2016, 12:00pm
Running time: 89m
Classification: PG (Mild themes and coarse language)
Release date: 26/12/16
Rating: 7/10 (ME 3.5/5, DP 3.5/5)
Michael (Jason Issacs) takes his sons to see 2011’s Red Dog, and when they get home he reveals that he knows the origins of the true story. Flashback to Michael / Mick (Levi Miller) as an adolescent, sent to live with his grandfather (Bryan Brown) on a remote property in Western Australia. Following a storm he discovers a puppy who he names Blue (Pheonix) and the pair embark on a series of outback adventures.
A coming of age story within a story, Red Dog: True Blue is a prequel to 2011’s successful Australian film Red Dog. Fear not if you haven’t seen the original, as there’s more than enough to give you a heads-up about the plot and tone. Where the original film was about a dog and the people he encountered on the way, True Blue is the story of a boy coping with the death of his father, the hospitalisation of his mother and coping with being thousands of kilometres from home. The performances are good, and Phoenix in the title role (recast following the death of Koko) provides one of the most delightful performances in the film. Yeah, there are people in it (and lots of them) and there are some interesting points made about mining in WA (look out for John Jarratt as Lang Hancock) and the role of the local Aboriginal community and their ties to the land, but it’s Blue who steals every scene… along with a bra from the washing line. It’s light school holiday fun, and there may have been some sniffling (it’s been a bad year for hay fever) but a delightful and charming film for the family. Enjoyable.