The Breed sold itself to me with a promise of college kids taking a vacation on a remote island before getting ripped apart by vicious monsters bred by mad government/scientists/other (delete as appropriate). I conjured up slathering beasts with bloody flesh & sinew on show, teeth so large they don’t fit inside their mouths & a beastly appetite. The kind of film held together with a flimsy story but where every death would be fun & gory. The Breed promised a lot…
The opening 5 minutes promised even more…a woman who acts stupid gets killed off by unseen forces & it looked pretty brutal. What could go wrong?
So basically a group of college kids made up of brothers, John & Matt, Matt’s girlfriend, Nikki & common friends Sara & Noah take a little vacation to an isolated island that used to belong to their late uncle. They now own the cabin on the island & it is virtually deserted…well except for the creatures that broke out of the ‘not so’ hidden compound on the other side of island.
John & Matt have issues, not that it’s made clear except John is a bit of a ‘bad-boy’ & Matt disapproves. The whole sibling issues is probably there so they can have a deep meaningful moment later in the film (Spoilers – they do!). Matt is close to passing his college course in *drum-roll* veterinary which might be useful later on. They are all having degrees of fun, in between awkward flirting & barbed comments when a puppy dog turns up. Within 10 minutes it does what a dog does, bares its teeth at strangers & runs off. While trying to find it they get attacked by a larger dog & Sara gets bit.
Over the next day she starts to act strangely…almost beastly. Sounds cool right? A human/dog hybrid with super strength & a taste of flesh? Yeah. I wish that was the film we got instead.
The group come under attack from wild dogs…dogs that have been genetically altered to be smarter but are still dogs, just dogs. Somewhat unkempt dogs but ultimately still just dog-looking…disappointed doesn’t sum it up. Even my hope that Sara was going to be come some sort of wild human/dog thing didn’t pan out & it was pretty much summed up by her being able to connect with the dogs mentally for short bursts.
It does at least result in a pretty nice death for her & one of the dogs though. Unintentionally funny…that happens a lot in The Breed, I laughed when I really shouldn’t have. The 2 that stuck with me sees John (who fancies himself a nice shot with a bow & arrow) miss the huge dog attacking Nikki instead hitting her in the ankle, I almost choked on my coffee at that bit.
The other sees Noah doing a parody (I think it was) of the Samuel L Jackson speech from Deep Blue Sea (if you haven’t seen it he gives some inspirational speech then gets promptly snacked on by a shark) before a dog jumps through the window on him. It is hilarious’…
Those 2 moments are worth watching it for…I mean the acting is fine & it looks pretty nice & gory in the small flashes we get but I couldn’t get over the crushing disappointment of no dog-beasts/human hybrids. The big revelation of how the dogs became what they were really wasn’t as big as the writers thought (it’s all really obvious from the start) & a heroic death at the end gets reversed with no explanation within 30 seconds. Even the final ‘jump scare’ falls flat as it is clearly coming if you’ve paid attention to the last few moments of the film.
Dogs…angry & dirty looking dogs, sure…but still just dogs. So much of The Breed is disappointment & I can’t help wondering what could have been had we just had my human/dog hybrid thingy instead. Ah well….it’s not the worst film you will ever see & fans of Michelle Rodriguez may enjoy it more (she’s in it & being her usual self) but it’s a film of missed opportunities.