The Dogs of War is one of the more pleasant surprises to come out of the Twilight Time pike with a great performance from Christopher Walken and a unique storyline that distinguishes it from other war films.
The Dogs of War
Genre(s): Drama, Suspense, War
Twilight Time | R – 104 min. / 115 min. – $29.95 | September 9, 2014
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
Plot Synopsis: Jamie Shannon (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN) is a soldier of fortune, sent by a businessman to a fictional South African country for reconnaissance to determine the stability of the country and its iron fisted dictator as the country is rich with some kind of minerals. Once Shannon finds the dictator is unhinged, especially after being captured after hanging out with the dictator’s mistress, and endured horrendous torture. After getting paid, he’s then asked to, along with his fellow soldiers and a localized guerrilla force, to infiltrate and unseat the dictator, so someone more in line to allow outsiders in, and thus take advantage of the land’s valuable resources.
Quick Hit Review: The Dogs of War is one of the better surprises, a well made, lean and mean war film with an amazing and versatile performance from the usually awkward Christopher Walken who was probably deserving of award recognition, as this movie on the whole did, though no doubt overshadowed by other war movies from the 1970s and into the 1980s. The action is toned down, at least through the first two acts, set aside for more character development and political intrigue of a country in turmoil, before going to a more action-packed, and powerful, third act.
Directed by John Irvin (originally Norman Jewison was set to helm) and based off of a novel by Frederick Forsyth, This is one movie well worth at least a rental and it’s nice to see Walken turn in a performance that was off-balance for sure yet not the quirky kind we’re accustomed to see him over the past couple decades.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5
Unfortunately this Twilight Time release is thin on features with only the Theatrical Trailer (2:37) along with both the International and U.S. Theatrical Cuts. Also included is the Isolated Score Track.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
The Dogs of War arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time with a good-looking 1080p high-definition transfer and presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio. Detail levels are mostly good and it appears to be a fairly clean transfer, although I did notice some dust marks and scratches, though nothing obvious.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is effective with the more dialogue-driven scenes providing clarity but when it comes to the action scenes, it is a bit flatter and not quite dynamic even for a 2 channel track; still, it’s good enough.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, The Dogs of War is one of the more pleasant surprises to come out of the Twilight Time pike with a great performance from Christopher Walken and a unique storyline that distinguishes it from other war films. The Blu-ray from TT offers good video and audio transfers but unfortunately the bonus material is lacking, though it is nice to have the International Cut available.