Black Dog (1998) Starring Patrick Swayze, Randy Travis, and Meat Loaf

Genre: Action

Directed by Kevin Hooks

Starring Patrick Swayze, Randy Travis, and Meat Loaf

An hour and a half of an 18-wheeler being chased by other 18-wheelers, the FBI and the ATF along an interstate where they use their vehicles in a Mortal Kombat style melee. That’s what Black Dog is and it stars an American icon, a true movie star, Patrick Swayze in the twilight of his big screen dominance. There’s one word to describe this movie and that word is fun.

Black Dog uses standard Hollywood script techniques to get you to buy the story. An ex con, imprisoned because he caused a fatal car accident after too many straight hours of hauling, needs money to save his family’s house from foreclosure. He is blackmailed into a job to drive illegal firearms across state lines, but the deal goes bad when the seller tries to rip off the buyer at the driver’s expense. The driver is Jack Crews, played by Patrick Swayze. As a lead, he’s lost much of the energy and charisma he had during his Road House heyday. Don’t expect the same actor or level of performance. What makes the movie work is that he still exudes American masculinity and that tightrope walk between stoicism and vulnerability is exactly what a good action movie needs.


Super powers, outer space, unrealistic destruction that’s only possible because everything is drawn on a computer like a cartoon, more comic relief than actual storyline to relieve… today’s action movies might entertain, but they don’t keep you on the edge of your seat. Black Dog might have failed upon release but that’s only because standards were so much higher at the time. Tools were limited, expensive, and they had to use something that’s disappeared from the big screen: creative writing.