Review by Cade
Car Dogs takes a look into the car selling much in the same way that The Wolf of Wall Street looks into the stock market, though it is definitely not trying to be an imitation. The story plays with time, beginning in the middle of a series of events and then rapidly reversing, which is an interesting technique used by director Adam Collis. Mark Chamberlain (Patrick J. Adams) is the son of an owner of a car dealership, which is portrayed as a ruthless business in which salespeople will do anything they can to make a sale. Their dealership has recently been slacking, and Chamberlain’s dad proposes an offer to his son: if they can sell a certain amount of cars by the end of the day, they will be able to open up a new branch which Mark will be able to run. Mark is also dealing with personal issues that pressure him, and make him unsure of whether or not he will succeed.
The pace of the film was very sporadic, there were whole scenes devoted to particular sales (which I found more enjoyable and fun) and plot development that focused on the interactions between the different salespeople. There was a clear comedic aspect to the film which was needed- it is, after all, a film about selling cars. Economic burden was a prevalent theme throughout the story, which added a sense of irony.
The development of Mark was very moving and touching: though Car Dogs only takes place in a day, there is a very evident feeling of growth from the beginning of the movie and to the end, which felt rewarding. Make no mistake, almost every sales associate is absolutely ruthless when it comes to selling cars: they are bent on doing “whatever it takes,” even if it means swindling the customer.
The film was very fun, and still managed to maintain its amusement while it taught the viewer about making a sale, through the advent of an experienced car seller teaching a newer one. The main conflict of the plot was based on time- the success of the protagonist was dependent on him selling enough cars by the end of the day. Unfortunately, I never felt as though there was ever any danger of them not selling enough, which kind of relieved some of the tension and stress that we are meant to be put through as an audience. The climax of the film made up for it, however, which was a brilliant scene where Mark confronts his overbearing father.
Car Dogs is highly recommended as a fun movie, that is well directed and includes talented actors.
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