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The Power of the Dog is Awful

I'm trying to post more personal things to this blog and I thought after what I finished watching last night - this was a good post to start. I often think that there is something wrong with me; like a horrible cynic. I like to watch entertaining movies and television, but everything I find lately is just awful. And it's almost like this never-ending cycle of bad to worse. It's not like I'm just watching straight to video movies or anything, I'm watching highly awarded and often praised as the hot thing on Netflix.

Last night I watched The Power of the Dog (2021). A highly regarded movie with a lot of nominations for various awards and I've heard a lot of talk about it - so I watch it. I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but absolutely nothing happens in this movie. There is a point in a movie where you just keep watching to see if anything happens and determine what exactly your time accomplished.

Well, I can let you know that watching to the end will illustrate just how little value there is finishing off the movie. In fact, if you started the movie half way through, you'd be at the same place as someone watching from the start.

I've noticed this trend with movies. The production value is excellent. The cinematography is great. The acting is great. The location, makeup, etc is all great. 

The actual story, dialog and events are cancer on a stick.

In The Power of the Dog nothing happens. Most of the movie has absolutely nothing of value for the plot. When I say you can start watching from the halfway point, you really don't need to know anything in the first half of the movie. Kristen Dunst's character has no purpose in the movie, other than her existence allowing two characters to meet. Does her drama with playing the piano or her alcoholism matter? No. Jesse Plemons' character, again, what was he there for? He was so unneeded that his character just disappeared for periods of time from the movie.

You start to realize after a while that these characters and their stories were introduced merely as filler. Once finishing the movie, you discover that Kristen Dunst's character has all this time and focus - yet the character is merely a weak supporting character in the grand scheme of things. Her drama didn't matter in any way. In fact, most of the drama didn't matter. The movie was just one long filler for a poorly written short story.

Another thing I noticed about this movie (that I found The Leftovers (2014) did) is this drama build to a climax that never happens. When you create a plot, there is a basic structure to it. Basically you have the introduction, the rising action, a climax, falling action and conclusion. What happens is that there is this continuous building and focus on the rising action. It builds and builds, but it never reaches the climax - and as a viewer this is just an annoyance. I remember commenting during a point in the movie 'I don't know if he's going to kill this guy or Brokeback Mountain him.' 

And after the rising action builds to a high, oh you're not feeling good - let's go see the doctor. Next scene, that looks like a good coffin.

At the very end you find out he was murdered. Was it an elaborate plot or some revealing truth? Nah, it was - at the most sinister level - a moment of opportunity. It could have been merely neglegence. Does it matter? No.

A very bad movie. I suppose I could have caught onto the IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes rating split, but even IMDB is rated too high. 


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