The Power of the Dog – No New Tricks Here

Rating (2 out of 5)

Summary: Everyone has a type of movie that does or does not suit them. “The Power of the Dog” is a movie that definitely wasn’t produced for yours truly. Right off the bat, the pace bored me. Secondly, the story didn’t intrigue me. Gosh, what is left, nothing? Nothing I tell you.

“The Power of the Dog” is supposed to have a quiet intensity, as there is tension between the brothers Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George (Jesse Plemons), George’s new wife Rose (Kirsten Dunst), and her son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee). The intensity resembles brooding, and really no one is of interest to me.

You might think I don’t understand the story or how the conflict plays out. Trust me, I do; it was simply uninteresting to me. Then to have some mysterious pond that only Phil knows about and somehow Peter finds too was laughable.

I reflected on truly great movies this morning, questioning myself, do I have COVID brain, and I hate everything now. Folks, I don’t think I am wrong. Let’s compare this movie against all of the academy award nominees from 2014:
-12 Years an enslaved person
-American Hustle
-Captain Phillips
-Dallas Buyers Club
-The Wolf of Wall Street

Even the worst movie on that list has pace. Putting this movie on the same level as “12 Years a Slave” actually made me laugh out loud. The raw intensity of the scenes and the power of the performance still lingers in my head today. Even the smallest of roles, like Paul Dano, still bounces back into my thoughts from time to time. “The Power of the Dog” maybe I will remember the castration of the bulls and nothing else.

This movie wasn’t made for me, and it lacks the one thing I find essential in my art and films, something that entertains me.

Plot: George marries Rose, and they live on the ranch in Montana with George’s judgemental brother Phil. Rose’s son returns to the ranch and passes his free time learning from Phil.