The Power of the Dog – The DVDfever Review – Netflix – Benedict Cumberbatch

The Power of the Dog The Power of the Dog is a Western set in Montana, 1925, where the unnecessarily nasty Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) constantly refers to his complacent brother, George (Jesse PlemonsThe Irishman), as “fatso”. Plus, as they and their men chance upon a restaurant and eat for the evening, Phil burns the paper flowers made by waiter Peter (Kodi Smit-McPheeX-Men: Dark Phoenix), and dishes out insults, upsetting owner – and Peter’s mother – Rose (Kirsten DunstMelancholia), leading to George stepping in and trying to placate her.

George is well kept, while Phil is slovenly – referring to Rose’s son, Peter, as ‘Nancy’; and over time, George finds himself falling for Rose in a story which is split up into chapters, but given that it’s only a two-hour Western, they’re around 15-20 mins apiece.

As time goes on, Phil’s nastiness leads to Rose becoming ill – given how he’s omnipresent – which anyone could work out because he works with horses all day, doesn’t wash, and so stinks to high heaven.

However, as we learn Rose plays the piano, Phil plays the banjo, Peter wants to become a surgeon and so on, the story does feel like a rather meandering mess. It feels like there’s a number of ideas in The Power of the Dog, but none of them are really followed through, and becomes a film that’s largely an exercise in looking at nice scenery, alongside a threadbare plot.

The title comes up as a line from a bible verse, but I guess an alternate title would be “Moron hates everyone who is better than him”.

As an aside, I didn’t realise until watching this, that both Kirsten and Jesse are engaged in real life, and have two sons.

The Power of the Dog is on Netflix now, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.

Check out the trailer below:

The Power of the Dog – Official Trailer – Netflix

Detailed specs:

Running time: 124 minutes
Release date: December 1st 2021
Studio: Netflix
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (4.5K), Ultra Panavision 70 (anamorphic))
Rating: 4/10

Director: Jane Campion
Producers: Jane Campion, Iain Canning, Roger Frappier, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman
Screenplay: Jane Campion
Novel: Thomas Savage
Music: Jonny Greenwood

Phil Burbank: Benedict Cumberbatch
George Burbank: Jesse Plemons
Rose Gordon: Kirsten Dunst
Peter Gordon: Kodi Smit-McPhee
Barkeep: Ken Radley
Sven: Sean Keenan
Cricket: George Mason
Theo: Ramontay McConnell
Mrs Lewis: Genevieve Lemon
Angelo: David Denis
Bobby: Cohen Holloway
Juan: Max Mata
Lee: Josh Owen
Jock: Alistair Sewell
Stan: Eddie Campbell
Buster: Alice Englert
Queenie: Bryony Skillington
Jeanie: Jacque Drew
Hettie: Yvette Parsons
Evie: Aislinn Furlong
Jeanie’s Friend: Daniel Cleary
Pianola Man: Richard Falkner
Libby: Tatum Warren-Ngata