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Black Dog (1998) - ripper car movies

By Simon Major, 25 Dec 2019 Features

Black Dog (1998) - ripper car movies

For a B-grade flick with a mostly B-grade cast and even B-grade distribution, Black Dog has without question the best trucking action you’ll ever see on film.

Patrick Swayze plays dedicated family man and big-rig driver Jack Crews, who sees the ‘black dog’ after pushing the envelope one too many times and spends time in jail for vehicular manslaughter.

Black Dog movie

His parole conditions ban him from holding a truck licence, which sees him buckling down to earn a crust as a diesel fitter. When his dodgy boss Cutler (Beckel) offers him a no-questions-asked drive with a $10K payday, Crews is quick to knock him back; however, a chance discovery as to his family’s dire financial situation sees him don the driving gloves for one last run.

The job is simple: run a load of toilets from Atlanta back to New Jersey, with a few Kinder Surprises of the weapons variety slotted in amongst the load. When Crews nestles in behind the wheel of a black Peterbilt, all appears fine and dandy with the load’s seller, the crazily ranting, Bible-obsessed Red (Meat Loaf), who even slots one of his own men, Earl (country music star Randy Travis), along for the ride.

Black Dog movie review

But there is no honour among thieves, and Red soon has more of his henchmen out to hijack the load and wipe out both Crews and Earl along with their Camaro-driving chaperones, Sonny (Casseus) and Wes (Vincent).

Black Dog movie review

All the while, the truck is being tracked by highly strung FBI agent Ford (Dutton) and the laughably loose ATF officer McClaren (Tobolowsky) – an odd couple forced to team up by their superiors and share the bust.

Bad turns to worse for Crews when Cutler learns of the double-cross and kidnaps Crews’ wife Melanie (Strong) and their daughter as insurance that he will do whatever it takes to deliver the payload.

Black Dog movie review

Dozens of trucks were harmed in the making of this flick, but it is worth every write-off. Sure, they seem to explode far too easily – something that in reality would instigate the world’s largest recall – but don’t get hung up on the finer details. The paces and stunts they put these rigid trucks, bobtail prime-movers and laden semis through are seriously impressive. The car action is a welcome bonus too – the cat ’n’ mouse chase between the Camaro and Monte Carlo leaves no stunt-stone unturned.

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Black Dog movie review

VERDICT: 4/5

YEP, I’m giving this flick a solid 4/5 despite its gaping plot holes, ridiculous strokes of good luck and farcical outcomes for Crews and his family. All of that really means nothing in the big scheme of things. Black Dog is a sorely underrated action movie, with truly superb trucking action. Just don’t make the mistake of taking it too seriously.

Black Dog movie review

Vehicles: 

  • Peterbilt 379
  • 1987 White WC
  • International S-Line
  • 1989 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 1994 Ford F350
  • 1993 Ford Mustang
  • 1966 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
  • 1973 Chevrolet C70
  • 1992 Ford Crown Victoria

Black Dog movie review

Stars:

  • Patrick Swayze
  • Meat Loaf
  • Randy Travis
  • Gabriel Casseus
  • Brian Vincent
  • Graham Beckel
  • Brenda Strong
  • Charles S Dutton
  • Stephen Tobolowsky

Director:

Kevin Hooks

Black Dog movie review

Action:

Amazing truck chases and crashes, supported by some great car stunts and mixed driving sequences.

Plot:

An ex-con truck driver trying hard to keep on the straight and narrow returns to the road for one last trip, only to find enemies at every turn.

Available:

Internet download, DVD

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