Black Dog (1998)

(On DVD, September 1999) This manages to build three-quarters of quite a good B-grade action film before completely losing it in the finale. Patrick Swayze does a good job as the trucker action hero—looking disturbingly like Kurt Russell. (Meatloaf’s character, however, ends on a cringe-inducing over-the-top mode.) The truck stunts are really enjoyable: make no mistake, this is a truck movie, probably the best since Convoy and/or Smokey And The Bandit. (Feeling nostalgic, yet?) The plot is serviceable, but takes a turn toward both the gee-that’s-boring and the where-did-THAT-come-from in the schizophrenic finale. Worth a look for action/truck junkies, but you might be better off rewinding the cassette at the one-hour mark and making up the ending in your own head.

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