“He’s more human than dog”: The Art of Racing in the Rain Review

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Milo Ventimiglia as Denny alongside Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner). Photo Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Andrew Herbison, Contributor.

13/10 heckin’ good dog.

Now that we’ve covered the important information, let’s get to the rest. Although, when talking about this movie, it’s hard to get beyond anything but the heckin’ good dog. Mainly because that heckin’ good dog is the movie. Even though the story of the film focuses heavily on things that aren’t the dog, the point of view (delivered through eloquent narration by Kevin Costner) is so much of the film, that the dog really is just the movie. If you aren’t a fan of narration in your films then you probably won’t get on too well with this one. If you like life from the perspective of a dog though, then Enzo (the good boy’s name is Enzo) should be enough to sell you on the film.

Enzo is not directly involved in a lot of the events in the film (he’s still a dog after all), but his little actions and interventions throughout involve him enough to earn his lead status. In some parts of the film, all Enzo can do is retreat into his imaginings due to certain situations having ridiculous, unjust human rules disallowing the involvement of dogs. How ridiculous. And yet not as ridiculous as those imaginings of Enzo’s I just mentioned. The sort of weird that makes you briefly wonder if this is the same film. Then it gets back on track and you remember what sort of film you’re watching. It’s one where the dog is, unquestionably, the lead. And let’s be honest, we’re all perfectly okay with that.

The story itself is about life and love and wanting to be a racing driver and yes, I am still talking about the dog. It’s also his owner’s story, but the dog is clearly more important. So important in fact, that I had to look up his owner’s name just to make sure I got it right (it’s Denny by the way). Enzo’s owner, whose name is definitely Denny, does tend to pale in comparison to Enzo though. Which is natural since Enzo is a dog. And the main character. However, I did find it hard to get the emotional perspective of the film through Denny’s eyes. This is probably due to how heavily the film is seen through Enzo’s eyes. It could also just be the difference between Kevin Costner’s acting and Milo Ventimiglia’s, who plays Denny. It could also be the dog.

This isn’t to say that the dog is the only thing tugging at the ol’ heart strings throughout the movie. I was surprised when I found my dog enjoyment interrupted by some pretty intense emotional plot points. Mainly because it was from the human characters and not the dog. And because it was so early in the film. If you plan on going to see this movie about the good dog, prep yourself for intense emotions. Unless you don’t want to. To each their own.

I’ve talked about the dog a lot in this review, which is fair because it’s a good dog. And the main character. However, I wish I could say more. It’s a simple story, and a fun little feel good movie, but my mind just keeps going back to “but”. Compare the dog to the rest of the film and there’s a major difference. If you took Enzo out of the film, it wouldn’t be half as good. Enjoyable, but not the same. So, when it comes down to it, you’re really going to see this movie for the dog. A good reason, but I wish there were others to equal it.

Still. A 13/10 doggo is a very convincing argument.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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