Dog Tags

"Very Good"

Dog Tags Review


An understated and offbeat bromance, Dog Tags brings together two damaged souls to see if perhaps together they can solve the big problems in their lives that they haven't been able to solve on their own. For a no-budget indie shot on the run, it's surprisingly thoughtful and watchable, and it's always fun to see Candy Clark show up in a movie.

Somewhere outside of L.A., Nate (Paul Preiss) has wasted his post-college years trying to find himself and has finally come up with the idea of becoming a Marine, hoping it will impress his mother (Clark), his trashy fiancée (Amy Lindsay), and maybe even the father he's never met, but whose location he has now discovered. Off to boot camp in Palm Springs he goes, and on a furlough he happens to get picked up roadside by a gay online pornographer who lures him to his basement to make a quick flick for a few bucks.

Also waiting is the basement is young, slight Andy (Bart Fletcher), an emo kid who's way too fond of eyeliner and is also looking to cash in. But soon they both chicken out, flee the house together, and become fast and unusual friends. Nate isn't gay, but he feels an attraction to Andy, whose new-agey plans involve driving across America aimlessly in search of "infinity." Andy is gay, but he also has a toddler son, so go figure. Together, they urge each other on. Andy supports Nate in his efforts to put on his dress blues and make a surprise appearance at his father's office. Nate supports Andy in his decision to start taking care of his son (taking him from his mother's house) and to see the world.

At one point, the two end up in a motel room, and a tentative sex scene commences. But wait... throughout the scene, Andy's thick eyeliner comes and goes, and Nate's shaved head grows hair and then loses it. Even his dog tags change, appearing both with and without black edges. What's going on? What I first thought must be a laughable error of continuity is something else, but it's unclear what. Is this a flash-forward to a blissful future (about three weeks away given the length of the stubble on Nate's head), or is it a fantasy scene? Either way, it adds an unhelpful note of confusion to what is otherwise a straightforward and intriguing character study. These two are a very mismatched pair, and the idea that they could actually contemplate driving off into the sunset together with a toddler in the back seat (and with Nate going AWOL) is amazing but somehow credible.

It's Frankie and Annette all over again.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 10th April 2008

Production compaines: TLA Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Damion Dietz

Producer: Damion Dietz, Stephanie Kirchen

Starring: Amy Lindsay as Trish Huddle, Paul Preiss as Nate Merritt, as Gene, as Deb Merritt, Keythe Farley as Mark Dessau, Diane Davisson as Louise Forte, Bart Fletcher as Ady Forte, Barry J. Ratcliffe as Uncle Sam, Chris Carlisle as Chris, Bobby Zelsdorf as Recruiter

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