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Ten Word or Less Review: I like this poster much more than the film.

I’ve been trying to come up with something interesting to say about “A Boy and His Dog” since yesterday, but the fact is that there’s not a whole lot to drone on about.  It’s laced with odd moments to be sure, but on the whole doesn’t make a lasting impression.  It’s a forgotten 70’s sci-fi oddity featuring a young Don Johnson wondering through a post-apocalyptic land, all the while talking to a dog only he can hear. The dog is the educated party in their mismatched bantering.

Sort of “Mad Max” sans automobiles with a dash of “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” and “Lassie”, “Boy” fits in well enough with other various oddball sci-fi films of the decade, though it always feels small in scope which holds it back. Directed by western stalwart L.Q. Jones, “Boy” doesn’t amaze visually or have a lot of narrative strength.  It feels occasionally underwritten and as if scenes are missing.  No distinct plot really materializes until its final act when Johnson investigates the world below the barren desert.  Johnson delivers a great performance as he effortlessly converses with the internal narration of his canine co-star. Though often considered a bit of a weightless actor, Johnson was likely sold short because of his good looks.  Even here he seems too pretty to be wondering a world on the brink of extinction.  The shortcomings of “Boy” seem mostly due to a lack of budget and scope.  This land of desolation doesn’t appear much different from any number of others.  The film takes the kind surreal turn in its last act that only 70’s movies would really try.  “A Boy and His Dog” is an interesting nugget for sci-fi fans, but when it’s over it doesn’t leave much after taste.  All in all it’s a decent but minor thing.


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