Sun Dogs

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  • TV-MA
  • 2017
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 6.3  (2,583)

Sun Dogs is a 2017 drama film directed by Jennifer Morrison, which follows the story of a young man, Ned Chipley (played by Michael Angarano) who dreams of joining the Marine Corps. However, his life takes a different turn when he becomes convinced that his small town is in grave danger of a terrorist attack. His eyes are opened to a world beyond his own sheltered life, and he sets out to try and save his community.

Ned's obsession with homeland security sees him volunteer his services as a "Sun Dog," a volunteer who keeps a watchful eye on his surroundings for suspicious activity. Things take a darker turn when he forms a bond with a drifter named Tally (played by Melissa Benoist) who he believes to be the perpetrator of the supposed attack. He elicits the help of his friend, a woman named Tanya (played by Allison Janney) and local police to help him uncover the truth.

The film begins with Ned's struggle to find his purpose in life; he is a young man with a lot of potential but no direction. He's portrayed as an awkward young adult that finds it difficult to connect with his peers. His religious upbringing plays a significant role as his conservative parents expect him to follow in their footsteps by becoming a pastor. The protagonist's friendship with Tally comes at the perfect time, as it serves as a wake-up call for him to grow out of his sheltered existence and also unravel the truth from fiction.

Sun Dogs is a film that does a great job of exploring the American politics and its indirect impact on the everyday citizens. It paints a clear picture of how paranoia, suspicion and preconceived biases are commonplace in the post-9/11 United States of America. The characters in this film exemplify the insecurities and fears that many Americans face regarding terrorism and the unknown.

The production quality of Sun Dogs makes it an enjoyable watch. This movie has a lot of heart, and you can tell that the cast and crew gave it their all. Michael Angarano's performance as Ned is commendable as he captures the essence of the character perfectly. The mannerisms and the awkwardness of his character create a lot of relatability. Melissa Benoist, of Supergirl fame, goes against typecasting as Tally and delivers a solid performance as a carefree and curious drifter. Allison Janney's Tanya is a sassy, no-nonsense character who is willing to help her neighbors when things get rough. She adds a welcome dose of humor to an otherwise intense plot line.

The biggest issue with the movie, however, is the fact that it is tonally inconsistent. The film tries to balance political commentary, humor, drama, and even romance into the plot which creates conflicting tones of the overall movie. Morrison's direction should be applauded for driving home the suspense of the plot and building the relationships of the characters, but there is a lack of cohesion, and a feeling of balance is nowhere to be found.

The film also leaves a lot of questions unanswered, which some may find frustrating. While it's refreshing to have a movie that doesn't spoon-feed information to the audience, there are many plot points that seem to be left hanging without any explanation. The film's climax also feels rushed, and although it effectively ties up one part of the narrative, it also leaves many threads that are left dangling.

In conclusion, Sun Dogs is not the perfect movie, but it is an enjoyable and thought-provoking film that is a must-watch for fans of Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, and Allison Janney. It explores significant issues in the United States that continue to affect the everyday citizens of the country. While the approach to the subject matter may not be for everyone, the emotional moments and character development make for a compelling watch. Morrison has shown her ability to craft a work that delves into complex issues while still being entertaining.

Sun Dogs is a 2017 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.

Sun Dogs
Where to Watch Sun Dogs
Sun Dogs is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Netflix. Some platforms allow you to rent Sun Dogs for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (2,583)