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TITLES 'IF DOG RABBIT' AKA 'ONE LAST SCORE' AKA 'DOWN SOUTH'

Year Released: 1999
If a dog sees the rabbit, then there's no longer a reason to chase it. The secret's out. Or else, when he sees the rabbit, without knowing the truth, the instinct is to catch the thing at all costs...

Either can be the meaning behind what seems to be one of the worst titles of all time, IF... DOG... RABBIT, later changed to the more conventional, simplistic and unfitting ONE LAST SCORE, a Neo Noir heist drama written and directed by Matthew Modine, taking place DOWN SOUTH (which is another video release title), first near Mexico and then within its sun-exposed streets where our anti-hero hides away with crazy brother Kevin J. O'Connor; the latter who smashed Modine's parole officer, played by David Keith, on the head after too much snooping around (Keith's girl Lisa Blount from OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN has a role)...

IfDogRabbitScore: ***
A good choice for the story's sake since Keith has too much screentime early on: a badgering cop should never be too important early on, and he seems way too "written" and friendly (he and Modine's character were best friends growing up) to be a palpable threat... And yet, overall, crime patriarch John Hurt is the bottom line in this more gritty, basic version of FAMILY BUSINESS, although he's not in the movie as much as he's featured on the posters, and has always been the kind of actor who could steal a picture if given the chance...

Instead, O'Connor's spontaneous wild card is what everything depends on, even after the boys wind up planning a bullfight heist, which leads to a rather anti-climactic finale. A shame since the more slowburn scenes leading up where the criminals, including Lisa Marie as a rich girl airhead moll, blend into the dilapidated backdrop of shanties and shacks. Still though, it's not a bad time-filler despite the indie budget keeping IF... DOG... RABBIT aka ONE LAST SCORE an art-house alternative to more bombastic and exciting crime flicks and for that, not digging deep enough into the flesh to be completely character-driven, which seems the overall intention.
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