‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ would be a tremendous title for a movie about drifting, and I’m sure if you hadn’t seen the trailer/a movie poster/been familiar with the book, you’d think that it was.
Unfortunately, it is not a movie about drifting. If you’re looking for a movie about drifting, you’re stuck with Tokyo Drift or the live action Initial D movie. Slim pickings. The Art of Racing in the Rain is actually a movie about a dog.
If you, like many others, are a person who loves dog movies, then The Art of Racing in the Rain is for you. Or is it?
I don’t know anything about the book, and I haven’t seen the movie to judge, but I have seen the trailer, and I must say, it is a work of art (of racing in the rain). A horrible and confusing work of art.
Watching the trailer is a baffling experience, and I highly suggest doing so before you read any further, or before you live another second of your life.
See what I mean?
What exactly is going on here? Aside from the simple fact that you don’t know what the hell you’re going to be walking into when you see this movie, there are some odd pieces of this trailer I just have to talk about.
The IMDB Synopsis reads:
Old Man Voice on the Baby Dog
Kevin Costner is admittedly doing some real work here with that narration. It’s somber, reverent, and full of pathos – you know, exactly how you want an adorable golden retriever to sound.
The first line and I’m already feeling the crushing weight of my mortality. Kind of a steep departure from Josh Gad (A Dog’s Purpose/Journey) and his lessons of love and companionship, you know, something we’d actually be excited to hear the insights of from dog. The timbre of Costner’s voice alone assures me that this dog is going to die, and that the owner will probably die as well. Great.
That’s not even what bothers me most. It’s the disturbingly poetic lines like:
“He picked me out of a pile of pups. A tangled mass of paws and tails.”
Kevin Costner’s gravely voice saying “tangled mass of paws and tails” will disturb me forever. It belongs in a horror film.
INT. MURDER HOUSE – NIGHT
He picks the dog out of a pile of pups. A tangled mass of paws and tails.
Speaking of horror film, there’s this gem as Enzo (that’s the dog) gazes at pregnant Amanda Seyfriend:
“It must be amazing having a body that can carry an entire creature inside….
…I just hoped it would look like me.”
What the fuck is going on here? Does Enzo want to impregnate Amanda Seyfriend? Or is he alluding to having already fucked her, hoping that his dog sperm had won dominance over his owner’s human sperm?
Through the lips of Josh Gad, that line might sound like innocent naivete. But through Kevin Costner’s lips, it sounds like the exact moment the horror music should cue in and it’s revealed as a horror movie about a dog who is jealous of his owner’s life. I’ve never seen a movie more primed for a horror-edit parody.
Which sounds like a pretty awesome movie. How about this:
A dog named Enzo recalls the life lessons he has learned from his race car driving owner, Denny, as he attempts to steal his life away from him.
Now that’s a movie fit for Costner’s growl.
And of course there’s the line…
“Faster, Denny. Faster.”
I’m not going to be gentle with my words here. It sounds like Danny is giving Enzo the red rocket treatment.
While I might talk a lot of shit, this is one of the top five trailers I’ve seen this year, even if its own efficacy makes me doubt the movie it’s trying to promote.
I’ll still be there opening weekend out of morbid curiosity with a full flask at my hip and 32 gallons of Pib Xtra, but what else is new?