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Film / Black Dog

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Black Dog is a 1998 action film directed by Kevin Hooks that stars Patrick Swayze as a trucker who is forced into transporting illegal weapons after being released from prison for vehicular manslaughter.

It also stars Randy Travis, Meat Loaf, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Charles Dutton.

The film was released on May 1, 1998.

Tropes for the film:

  • Big Bad Ensemble: Cutler and Red form one. Cutler wants to kill Jack's family if he doesn't do what he wants, while Red and his crew try to hijack him.
  • Hard Truckin': Even though his CDL is suspended, Jack gets another chance at a trucking job. Unknown to him, however, is he's hauling illegal weapons.
  • Hellhound: The film is about a hellhound that takes everything away from greedy truckers.
  • Hollywood Police Driving Academy: The ATF Agents involved in the opening Chase Scene.
  • I Have Your Wife: Jack's wife and daughter are threatened by his boss if he doesn't finish transporting the weapons, they will be killed.
  • Irony As He Is Cast: Country music luminary Randy Travis plays an aspiring singer whose singing voice is terrible.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: A fair deal of the conflict comes from the FBI agent and the ATF agent over who has jurisdiction in their investigation of a gun-smuggling operation.note 
  • Magic Brakes: Attention to detail on how trucks work is the film's main virtue. When a bad guy on a bike jumps onto the deckplate in-motion, and pulls off the connectors to the trailer, the protection valve on the dash of the tractor pops immediately, and Jack must get them re-connected before the air tank runs low and the brakes set.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: After Cutler is dealt with, things seem to be back to normal for the Crewses... until Red comes back to finish what he started.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Jack has finished his sentence but can't find a job anywhere in New Jersey due to losing his license as a result of the accident and has to work in a repair shop to make ends meet.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Sonny reveals to Crews that he is an FBI agent after he is mortally wounded in a truck-jacking attempt.
  • Urban Legends: The legend of the black dog in this film is that it comes for truckers who have been pushing too hard. Jack says his encounter with the dog caused him to unintentionally crash into a car, causing him to be put in prison for manslaughter.