The very true story of Togo a sled dog who led the 1925 serum run which was one fo the most dangerous adventures as he was considered too small and weak to be able to handle such an intense event.
Leonhard Seppala tried to get rid of Togo on three different occasions as he did not believe he had what it took to be a sled dog. Constantly breaking out of the place they were living and not obeying commands like other dogs. But when he eventually realised Togo was just different but still had plenty about him to be able to work very hard and keep him alive a true bond between the man and animal was made and that creates a truly amazing story.
The Serum Run was very important to get the medicine/serum back to a village where many children were suffering and would have died without receiving it. That placed so much more on the trip that was very dangerous. The way this was put across in the film with the ice and tough scenes was very impressive it has to be said. One of those that easily increased your anxiety levels as you really hoped everything would work out well in the end. The tension was high and certainly made you gasp many times. You become quickly attached to Togo and that was something else I thought was very impressive in the film, if they failed to do that it probably would not have seemed to be as good.
The story is told with many flashbacks to when Togo was a puppy and how Leonhard had tried to get rid of him a few times. His wife Constance was against this and wanted him to work with the dog and train him like the others. Often then referred to as her dog, she had a good relationship with her husband and was always there for him which was nice to see.
Performance wise I have to admit that it took some adapting to see Willem Dafoe in this type of role as he doesn’t usually play the nice guy heroes, he is usually the strange bad guy. Obviously he is a very talented actor though and totally owns the role from start to finish. So I guess it confirms that he really can do anything he wants when picking different roles. Julianne Nicholson was decent enough as his wife and they shared some nice scenes together, I recognised her from being in August: Osage County and as it turns out she has been in a few more films that I have seen but I have to admit those must have been smaller roles. In terms of other performances everyone else is more small support.
This really is all about Togo and how he overcame all of the odds and proved everyone wrong that he could do pretty much anything. I guess we can take that as a very strong message and transfer that into human life as well, don’t disregard someone because you think they are weaker. They will stronger than you will ever know.