Red Dog back in superb prequel

Monday January 09, 2017 Written by Published in Entertainment
Levi Miller, who plays Mick and Phoenix (Blue) in a scene in the movie Red Dog: True Blue screening at the Empire Cinema. 17010636 Levi Miller, who plays Mick and Phoenix (Blue) in a scene in the movie Red Dog: True Blue screening at the Empire Cinema. 17010636

WHEN THEY say a dog is a man’s best friend, trust me, they mean it.


I have one and it’s pretty loyal and punctual, especially at meal times.

It’s really our neighbour’s dog but the sound of my squeaky motorbike heading up the driveway always catches his attention.

He comes out of the nearby bushes, slowly and steadily, wagging his tail and making sounds of delight.

I call him Buddy.

Some nights when I’m trying to hunt down reception on my porch for a better internet connection, Buddy lends me his company along with the buzzing mozzies. 

Buddy is the only intruder I approve though. And he seems to know that.

In fact, he wiggles, I hope in approval, when I let slip the occasional bad language in anger, complaining about the annoying mosquitoes.

I think we are good friends. Sometimes, I tell my flatmate that Buddy is better company than him. At least my furry friend listens to me.

Buddy is light brown with a bit of black patches, but not red. Red Dog was pretty special.

Readers may remember the 2011 Australian family comedy-drama which was based on the legendary true story of a red dog who brought smiles to a local community while roaming the Australian desert in search of his long-lost master.

Well, now the prequel is out. It’s called Red Dog: True Blue, and it’s another masterpiece focusing on the heartwarming journey of a canine and his young master.

It is about how the world found Red Dog.

After a busy day at office, Michael Carter or older Mick (Jason Isaacs) returns home to remember he has promised his two boys he will take them to the movies that evening.

He reluctantly keeps his word and on their way to the cinema, the older boy asks his father if they can adopt a puppy for company.

Mick comes up with all sorts of excuses and dismisses the idea.

However, while watching the movie Red Dog, Mick becomes emotional and breaks into tears.

When they return home, the younger son asks his father why he was crying. Mick denies at first and then utters the word, “Blue”.

“It was not Red, it was my Blue,” he says referring to the dog in the movie Red Dog.

After his father passed away and his shocked mother was admitted to a rehabilitation centre, young Mick played by Levi Miller moved in with his Grandpa (Bryan Brown) on a Pilbara cattle station in Western Australia.

One morning after a stormy night, Mick finds a dog trapped on a tree covered with blue paint.

He names him Blue (Phoenix) but after washing him clean, realises he is red.

The two become great friends.

Grandpa brings home a young, attractive spinster named Betty Marble (Hanna Mangan Lawrence) to tutor Mick, who starts developing feelings for her.

But Betty is fond of Stemple (Thomas Cocquerel), the farm helicopter pilot, and the two form a relationship.

This infuriates Mick, who approaches Stemple for a fair fight, before deciding to kill him by stealing a sacred stone, believed to carry the soul of a witch, from a cave and pointing it at Stemple.

The theft leads to disasters in the community and realising the enormity of what he has done, Mick decides to return the stone to the cave.

However, this proves much harder than he might have thought.

Red Dog: True Blue has some striking cinematography, boasting some colourful scenes of Western Australia with its shimmering backdrop of red soil deserts and rocky hills.

It is superbly filmed to bring richness to the story and add colour to an inspiring journey.

Red Dog: True Blue is a simple movie which director Kriv Stenders, who also helmed Red Dog, flawlessly delivers to give justice to the first film’s giant reputation.

He lives up to every expectation that Red Dog may have set and Red Dog: True Blue, is equally as amazing.

The actors including young Miller, who played Peter in Pan, and the dog Phoenix, turn in impeccable performances.

Red Dog: True Blue is a story of family, friendship and adventure cleverly set around the love between a young boy and a dog who grows up to become an Australian legend.

It’s heartwarming, inspiring and beautiful.

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