Following the well-trodden path of road trip films, Moon Dogs tells the tale of two very different step brothers who make the journey from Shetland to Glasgow, one in search of love and the other in search of a career in music. Fairly predictably, a girl soon comes into the mix and both boys instantly fall head over heels for her, with her arrival driving their journey down a very different route to the one they had planned.
While this is far from being an original story, the cast are what set this apart from similar fare. Moon Dogs moves along at a fairly speedy pace, not giving much time to truly develop any of the supporting roles but completely focusing on the three teenagers. The lead actors truly give the roles their all, making the fairly flimsy plot believable and funny. Jack Parry-Jones is the real star here, playing awkward and naïve Michael, who is at complete odds with his quiet musician step-brother Thor (O’Donnell) and the super cool Caitlin (Lee).
Their road trip beautifully showcases the stunning backdrop of rural Scotland, while also encapsulating the undeniable teenage urge to escape a home town and find an adventure. And this is a real teen adventure, full of sex, drugs, and life lessons. Their journey of discovery lands them in a whole host of slightly bizarre situations, some of which work incredibly well, while others do little to move the plot along. However, aside from an undeniably flat ending, Moon Dogs is good fun and a great showcase for all three young actors.
It’s a fairly clichéd and all too familiar plot, but the three lead actors ensure that Moon Dogs avoids mundanity, and manages to create a sweet and funny film.
CAST: Jack Parry-Jones, Christy O’Donnell, Tara Lee
DIRECTOR: Philip John
WRITERS: Derek Boyle, Raymond Friel
SYNOPSIS: Two teenage step brothers fall for the same girl on a chaotic road trip from Shetland to Glasgow.