Black Dog - Patrick Swayze

Black Dog is about Patrick Swayze being an outlaw trucker. Meatloaf and Randy Travis both star in this as well.

I have a fairly high tolerance for silly movies, and I really like Patrick Swayze. So I'm willing to cut this movie a lot of slack. This review gives away a few plot points - but don't worry, none of them will be a surprise to you when you watch anyway :)

Patrick is a guy who accidentally killed someone while driving a truck. He saw the "black dog" - he in essence was driving for too long, spaced out, and ran someone over. I want to make a side comment here that I once drove off the road because I pushed myself too hard and drove while sleepy. It is SO important to take regular breaks while driving and to stop if you're tired.

So anyway, Patrick goes to jail, comes out, and now his wife is about to lose the house. He needs money and his corrupt boss offers to bail him out in return for running guns. Everybody in this movie is pretty much "all good" or "all bad" so there is little question who you cheer for.

The movie has probably every car-chase cliche in the book. Cars that crash burst into HUGE fireballs a la a nuclear explosion. Many jumps are worthy of the Dukes of Hazzard. They throw in a lot (probably too much) of arcane trucker jargon to give something cool to the film.

The plot is both predictable and exceedingly silly. I'll give an example from near the end of the film. Everything looks like it's wrapped up even though Meatloaf is still on the loose. So of course the cops tell Patrick "OK even though this huge criminal situation is wrapping up, we won't interview you or anything. Here, take this evidence-filled truck, with your wife and kid, and go drive around in it." This struck us as exceedingly silly. Oh, they give him his license back too. So there the family is driving around and sure enough, Meatloaf shows up in his own truck.

So there they are, chasing each other around a train yard. My boyfriend goes "OK so Meatloaf is going to die going head-on into a train". I'm saying "well given the nuclear level explosions of the past, he is going to die in a gigantic fireball". A few seconds later, Meatloaf goes head-on into a train and bursts into a huge fireball. It was just too funny :)

This is not nearly as engaging at Swayze's other movies. His other characters had a past and texture. Here he is very one dimensional. His relationship with his wife seems forced. The buddy situation seems forced.

I'm glad I saw this once, but unlike Swayze's other movies, this isn't one I'll be watching repeatedly.

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