Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) – English Review

barking dogs never bite

A man who kills dogs, and a janitor who eats them.

This was the second time I saw Barking Dog’s Never Bite. The first time I saw the movie was about 12 years ago, and I didn’t like the movie. The reason for that was that I had seen two of the director’s best movies, Memories of Murder and The Host, before Barking Dogs Never Bite.

I gave the movie a second chance, and I appreciated the movie more now than the first time I saw it. I knew more about what was waiting for me and I lowered my expectations and I knew that this movie isn’t in the same league as his best movies.

But there’s something I don’t appreciate, and that’s animal cruelty. And the dogs in the movie aren’t treated well! But in reality, I expect they drank and ate from a golden bowl!

The humor is dark. Did you expect anything else? In the movie, we follow a professor who has lost his job, and he has no money to bribe the man who hires people. His wife is pregnant, and she doesn’t have much respect for him. At home, he hears a dog constantly barking, and when he finds the dog he steals it so he can kill it. What a bastard of a man!

In the apartment complex, there is a janitor who likes to eat dogs, so this isn’t a safe place for dog owners. And there’s also another man there who likes to eat dogs, and he lives there illegally. A young woman who is a daydreamer saw the person who killed the dog, and she tries to track him down so she can become a national hero.

Barking Dogs Never Bite takes up various topics and themes such as corruption, dreams, misunderstandings and something I’ve seen in another South Korean movie directed by Ki-duk Kim called Address Unknown. There we see how dogs were treated in certain areas when South Korea was a poor country. They ate dogs, so I guess a lot of what we see with the older people in Barking Dogs Never Bite has something to do with this time period when they ate dogs. Maybe they don’t forget the hunger and that they had to eat what was available.

Although I hate animal abusers, this is an entertaining movie. Bae Doona, in particular, is fantastic. She’s always good, I have always loved this actress!

But even if you smile, the man who kills a dog, or was it two, is a terrible human who takes out his frustration on innocent dogs. So this isn’t a character the movie can repair after what we’ve seen when he hurts and kills dogs. But I felt a little sorry for him when his wife treats him like crap. But his wife has some secrets she doesn’t tell him, and she gets more sympathetic towards the end of the movie.

Don’t go into the same trap as I did when I saw the movie for the first time. Don’t compare the movie to the best movies Bong Joon Ho directed after Barking Dogs Never Bite. Because you won’t find the same quality in his first movie. This is a slower movie with some funny scenes that will make you smile, and the movie has several layers about life in South Korea.

But I didn’t like the soundtrack! There’s some jazz crap being played that I hated! It’s so awful!

Rating: 7/10

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