Based on true life events, Alpha Dog is nothing short of spectacular.
Where the line becomes blurred between moral justice and conscious wrongdoing is the centre of the transpiring action in Alpha Dog, giving the movie the added punch of a well-deserved gravitational pull.
Johnny Truelove, the film’s antagonist, portraying the true Jesse James Hollywood is an L.A. drug dealer. Having built up his young life already, living his own version of the American Dream, he steps on one client, Jake Mazursky, who cannot keep up with his tab. After an adrenalin-packed fight ensues, Truelove settles for kidnapping Jake’s 15 year old brother, Zack. But little does Zack know that the following weekend will be one he will remember for the rest of his life.
With a cast gathered to shine, Emile Hirsch is at the centre of the events, depicting Johnny Truelove. But if one person rose from the crowd, Justin Timberlake would be the one to do it. Giving the performance of his career, Timberlake portrays Frankie, a lost malefactor, who within the turmoil, understands the weight of his actions. An exceptionally hard role to show the emotional side of, Timberlake does not let us slow our expectations of his perplexed character.
Director Nick Cassavetes may have dawdled the plot, but all for a good reason. The film’s intense sequences smother all deformities we may see on the outer surface, and keeps the success of the movie travelling surprising lengths.
Not a movie to give up on, Alpha Dog shows the product of brutal truth when mixed with overwrought characters.