Amores Perros

Bomb Rating: 

It's a brand of faux-confusion parading as intellect. It's cerebral only in that it's similar to experiencing a migraine.

A Spanish-speaking friend of mine said that he really didn't get the title of this film since it literally translates in English to "love is a dog" not "love is a bitch." Nevertheless, either makes reasonable sense, so the title confusion isn't exactly a deal-breaker. What is a deal-breaker, however, is the topic: If I wanted to spend two hours and forty-five minutes watching dogs get killed, I'd have grabbed my neighbor's screechy poodles and spirited them off to the airport to chase landing jumbo jets -- and still had time to spare.

Frankly, I don't have the slightest idea what kind of comparisons this film is trying to make. There's a big dog in the film named Cofi who is really nice around people but kills other dogs with abandon. Is this meant to signify that humans are mean to each other or that they don't relate well? There may be some validity to this approach, but using it to generalize obtusely about humanity for almost 180 minutes borders on the psychotic.

The movie has three intertwining stories, all of which intersect in a horrible car crash. Two of the crash victims are on the run because a dogfight went horribly awry. A model who's having an affair with a married man is accompanied by her toy dog when she gets wrecked. After the crash, a bum goes into one of the cars and snatches Cofi, who has been wounded in the dogfight ruckus. Each of these parties claims a third of an intertwined storyline that binds the film. Though this approach may seem confusing, it isn't. Rather it's a brand of faux-confusion parading as intellect. It's cerebral only in that it's similar to experiencing a migraine.

Dogs die in this film left and right, and it's unclear how that element of the filmmaking was handled, given that there's no such thing as a Dog Actors Guild. I don't particularly care for dogs, but I'd rather watch someone get mangled who's volunteered for the duty, been paid richly for it, and whose dismemberment will be fodder for a People magazine "Story of Courage" -- rather than some poor stray canine who was lured into it with an expired can of Alpo.

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