When 17-year-old Butch is sent to the Enola Vale Youth Correctional Center in Montana for blinding an abusive correctional officer, he brings with him a deep-seated intolerance for injustices and a penchant for meting out retributions on his own. No one had better mess with him or anyone else while he's there. Unfortunately, many do.Written by
A movie like "Dog Pound" has a lot of peers. Year after year of prison films (a dozen or two I've seen for myself) have honed a pretty basic cinematic structure. This film is about half-successful in avoiding the clichés. It does have one thing going for it - being the most recent to give a pretty much realistic account of the juvenile detention system. The pace of the story provides somewhat of the needed adrenaline charge for the thriller format, but it doesn't go nearly as far as it should. The soundtrack, for one, is a good example of this. It's virtually never needed, always intrusive. The acting is pretty much as expected. Given intense situations, the actors offer better performances than if asked to emote in a normal environment. And, if not necessarily better, at least more intense.
Kim Chapiron provides some interesting direction. Clean photography, 70s style use of zooms. It doesn't always work, but it keeps things interesting. The end result is a film that gives you enough to stay involved, if not quite enough to push it over into something you'd want to see again. Good enough.
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