Paul Schrader’s name will forever be part of Hollywood folklore. The American director, screenwriter and film critic has been a part of some of the greatest films of the twentieth century. He worked with Scorsese on Taxi Driver, The Last Temptation of Christ, Raging Bull and Bringing Out the Dead. As a director, he’s best known for American Gigolo and Affliction. At the age of 70, his latest film, Dog Eat Dog is pure Schrader.
Troy (Nicolas Cage), Diesel (Christopher Matthew Cook) and Mad Dog (Willem Dafoe) are pulling jobs to make ends meet. After the completion of another successful heist they go out on the town. Tired of playing high stakes for little reward, when the offer of a last big payday comes their way it’s too good to turn down. However, being on two strikes they’re determined not to get caught.
Still reeling from the studio taking over his last project Dying of the Light, Schrader teams up again with Cage in Dog Eat Dog. Cage is certainly off the leash. He’s revelling in his freedom. Defoe fares less well from it though. Schrader gets imaginative with a small budget. Whilst there’s some clever cinematography and set-ups, as a whole it feels rather rushed and slightly messy. Dog Eat Dog is an interesting venture which doesn’t take itself too seriously. It feels like a copy rather than an original though.
Dog Eat Dog is out in cinemas from Friday.