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Don't Sell Me A Dog

Written by: Mark Hampton |   Directed by: Pauric Brennan |  Genre: Crime

CD (Mark Agar) is robbing his boss in order to, what he says, start a new life. He’s a drug-addicted criminal, and his boss is the crime lord of the area. It seems too easy, and that’s because it is. CD has been caught red-handed and is just about to be executed when from behind, a new player enters the scene and saves CD’s life. The new player is Adele (Liadh Blake), and she is CD’s partner and girlfriend, it seems. The two escape and eventually find a single man in a car and attempt to hijack him. That doesn’t go as planned either and the hijacked man, Joe (Any Yule) ends end remaining in the car as the 3 speed off.

Joe is a pleasant enough guy who just doesn’t want to lose the only thing he owns in the world. His car. As he’s instructed to drive by the pair of criminals who are clearly coming down off drugs, it isn’t long before the hunt begins for them. There’s a reason their pursuer is called a crime boss… because he’s the boss, and he knows who CD and Adele are. It isn’t long before he finds out what car they’re in and which way they are heading. The rest of Don’t Sell Me A Dog revolves around the chase and a developing relationship between Joe and Adele. At one point, Joe even convinces her to leave CD behind, but they are quickly forced to pick him up again because she doesn’t want him to get hurt. As they all play cat and mouse, we eventually learn there are other secrets this film has been keeping and that Don’t Sell Me A Dog is also about developing relationships and the histories of the characters. With an ending I tip my hat to, there’s a lot to love about this feature-length crime/cat and mouse film.

With a knack for capturing real feeling moments and gritty atmospheres, director Pauric Brennan knows how to capture some really good performances from his actors. Don’t Sell Me A Dog never feels imagined or fake and blurs the lines at times between fiction and non-fiction. But there are also some funnier moments, even if some of the jokes are pretty dark. This is a great example of “to the point” filmmaking because a lot of it seems raw and real. Nothing gimmicky about this movie.

I loved how writer Mark Hampton also included clues about some of the characters in the script but in the background. I got a kick out of listening to the radio broadcasts and how they tied into the plot. A lot of this movie takes place in or around Joe’s car, and that includes a lot of grand scenery. The isolation of a lot of the areas made Don’t Sell Me A Dog much more potent and even worked to light up the characters. I’m sure it’s obvious that I really liked this movie. I got much more out of it than I thought I would.

Don’t Sell Me A Dog is a crime drama with some real bite attached to it. The characters start a little cliche but evolve in an interesting way, and it’s really just good cinema. I would suggest a four out of five-star rating and a big thumbs up. Thank you for reading.

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