Kino Mania: Dogs 3

Starring: Bogusław Linda, Cezary Pazura, Marcin Dorocinśki, Artur Żmijewski
Directed by: Władysław Pasikowski
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Since the release of Władysław Pasikowski’s Psy (Dogs) in 1992, Polish cinema has changed drastically, as has life in Poland and its capital city. Warsaw has a second metro line, and bribery is nowadays associated with social stigma.

In Dogs 3, Pasikowski needs only a handful of sequences to convey convincingly on the big screen the quasi child-like astonishment of Lieutenant Franciszek “Franz” Maurer (Bogusław Linda) thrown into a different reality after 25 years spent in jail. This time, unlike in Pigs 2: The Last Blood (1994), Second Lieutenant Waldemar “Nowy” Morawiec (Cezary Pazura) is not there to welcome Franz when the former agent of the SB (the PRL-era secret police) is released from behind bars.

Nonetheless, at the same time, nothing has changed for Franz, since he is still the same old same samurai left without a master after the collapse of communism in Poland. Lost to wander without reference points, Franz hangs on to his loyal affection to Nowy and decides to help him “in the name of principles” and find the truth about the strange disappearance of his friend’s son after a police interrogation.

Dogs 3 marks also the comeback of arms dealer Radosław Wolf (Artur Żmijewski) who played a prominent role in the second installment of the series. Despite age differences, Marcin Dorocinśki in the role of a foul-mouthed and idealistic policeman blends in more than decently with the more senior anti-heroes starring in the film.

Overall the script (penned by Pasikowski himself), including references to the Robert Dziekański Taser incident and poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, feels a bit shallow at times. While many will turn their nose up at this third installment, the impeccable trumpet-driven score composed by Michał Lorenc once again magnificently resonates with the doomed tragic figure of Franz. Just like Otomo’s character in Takeshi Kitano’s yakuza trilogy Outrage, Linda and his restrained character exude every single inch of the ill-fated cinematic existentialism the viewer should expect from a Pasikowki’s crime thriller. To demolish the third chapter of the Polish “bad cop” film par excellence only because it is not as much disruptive as the original or its sequel is an exercise in futility.

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