11 May 2018 | Hellmant
The most impressive about the film is Jennifer Morrison's beautiful direction!
'SUN DOGS': Four Stars (Out of Five)
An indie comedy-drama about a young man that's obsessed with becoming a military hero, who thinks that he finds a new way to save lives, with the help of a young woman that he meets. The film was directed by actress turned first time director Jennifer Morrison, and it was scripted by Anthony Tambakis and Raoul McFarland (a first time screenwriter). It stars Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, Allison Janney, Ed O'Neill and Xzibit. The movie was featured at multiple prestigious film festivals, before being released by Netflix through it's streaming site. I found it to be pretty moving and effective.
Ned Chipley (Angarano) is obsessed with joining the military and becoming a hero. He's mentally unstable though, and this disqualifies him from entering the service (unbeknownst to him). The enlisting officer, Master Sgt. Jenkins (Xzibit), doesn't have the heart to tell him this, so he instead asks Ned to watch out for terrorists in the civilian world (as a secret operative). Ned of course takes this assignment very seriously, and he finds help from a young woman he meets named Tally (Benoist).
The movie is ultimately very sweet and inspiring, after a pretty rough and depressing opening third act though. I think it tackles mental illness with a pretty respectful and heartfelt approach, and Angarano is perfect in the lead. What's most impressive about the film though, I think, is Morrison's beautiful direction (it's so well done for a first time director). I really look forward to seeing what she does next.