Saturday, August 24, 2013

DOG SOLDIERS (Neil Marshall, 2002, UK)


A platoon of soldiers is welcomed to dinner by a family of Lycanthropes where it’s bared fangs versus big bangs. Neil Marshall writes and directs this canine incised debacle whose bite is as dull as its bark.
The setup is barely interesting: a group of bored soldiers spends a weekend on a training mission in the Scottish Highlands and are stalked by a pack of werewolves. This macho infected film wears its bloody heart on its sleeve, ripe with inane dialogue, colorless caricatures, and poor scripting. Marshall’s fast cutting during low key scenes is very distracting and neither builds suspense nor creates emotional tension. The special-effects look awkward and riotously pathetic, more unimaginative than low budget. The plot becomes boilerplate with the arrival of the chic in a tank top, and the suspension of disbelief crumbles with the abeyance of narrative logic. For example, the werewolves tear apart a vehicle (without making a sound, by the way) but can’t bust down latched doors or thin walls. The creatures are also immune to bullets but retreat from the blaring weapons, and they seem to have some aversion to light, but it’s an interesting point that is never improved upon. Megan’s character is also of little interest, somehow a bitch in this Working Group that doesn’t metastasize during the full moon, another fact that could spice this stale concoction but remains unexplained.
DOG SOLDIERS is too serious to be parody and attempts an overabundance of homage and cannot be taken as a serious horror film. The story descends into the prosaic even for a tired genre though I’ll give it points for the Antonioni reference.

Final Grade: (D-)

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