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Red Dog: Blu Ray Review

Rating: PG
Released by Roadshow Home Ent

Based on an Aussie true story of legend, Red Dog is a family treat as we head towards the Christmas hols.
But it's not your average "melt your heart, we've got a dog onscreen" kind of film.

Set in Dampier, in Western Aussie, it's the story of Red Dog, a Kelpie Cattle dog cross, who at the start of the film is about to be put down in a bar. In walks truck driver John (Luke Ford) who intervenes just before the pooch is laid to rest.

As the residents of Dampier retreat to the bar, John begins to hear from the publican Jack (Noah Taylor) how the dog's impacted on all of their lives - from miners to the publican himself; and he recounts how when Red Dog, as he affectionately became known after being covered in desert dust, came into their lives, they were all touched in different ways.
There's a warmth to Red Dog which may melt even the most cynical of hearts. If you just can get past the copious shots of a dog walking on the road, looking with its head on its side and running in slow mo in something akin to deleted scenes from TV series The Littlest Hobo.

There's also a fair amount of heart and gentle humour tucked away in this dog's tale too - Red Dog was a dog for everyone whether it's hitch-hiking on the local bus or listening to various miners unloading their hearts to him, it's clear there's affection for this canine wanderer.

But more than that, there's a very Australasian feel to this flick; one miner, Jocko (a big guy with a handlebar moustache and who'd rather have a stoush to sort something out than a chat) is a source of amusement and some of the best lines. Plus if you factor in Red Dog's nemesis, Red Cat, there's something for all animal lovers here.

There's also the inevitable heartbreak - both human and animal - and it's at this point, that I defy anyone who's shared a connection or devotion to a dog to not have a tear in their eye.

Ultimately, Red Dog has a low key charm which swerves it firmly into the sentimental territory rather than the mawkish mire which usually cloys these kinds of outings. Simply told and produced with a heartfelt earnestness, it may have you heading to the SPCA to see if you can adopt a pooch as soon as it's over.

Extras: Deleted scenes, commentary, Koko screen test, making of and trailer

Rating: 6/10