Netflix review of 'Rescued By Ruby': Watch It Now or Skip It!This feel-good flick about doggos is headlined by Grant Gustin, TV's The Flash.
Netflix's Rescued by Ruby is the second aww-cute hero-dog K-9 story to hit streaming in the past week or so, following Channing Tatum-and-dog movie Dog. Unlike the Tatum vehicle, Rescued by Ruby is a BOATS (Based On A True Story) movie also based on a short story in a book written by an author and all those names flash by in the credits so fast you can't read them all - writers always get the shaft, don't they? Ruby, the actual Ruby, is still playing around. She was a shelter dog who became a Rhode Island State Police K-9 unit. You might be wondering if this is one of those inspiring movies. It is. And by the end you'll either CRY or DIE.
The Gist A border collie, what an amazing one. Ruby is her name. Her name is Ruby. She has been adopted seven times and then returned eight more. Her continued presence at the shelter means employee Pat (Camille Sullivan) has grown attached to the loopy bitch, who we see in a destroying-the-snot-out-of-everything montage. The boss is going to put the dog down, but we first meet Dan O'Neil (Grant Gustin from The Flash TV show), a former state trooper who's failed numerous times to secure a place in the K-9 unit. He has failed numerous times. This will be his eighth attempt, as the Lord works in strange ways when guided by screenwriters.
You can see Destiny's Hand's role in the movie. Dan is an excellent cop, good husband to Melissa Kaylah Zander, and good father to his toddler. But what he wants is to be a good dog dad cop cop. You may wonder why? You may be asking, "Why can't a man have a dream?" Are movie characters supposed to be so fleshed out that we can empathize with them? One who enters a shelter to grab the border collie in pain, who is hours away from the march down the green mile. He wants Ruby to become a sniffer-outter for drugs, perps, and human remains. This is quite ambitious. Ruby is so nimble and willing to lay on the ground, that even teaching her how to sit may be more difficult than transforming a mouse into an otter.
Dan is now able to overcome his fears and make a difference in the world. He focuses intensely on Ruby and works hard. He is supported by Matt Zarrella (Scott Wolf), who is a tough, but supportive head of K-9 units, as well as Tom McBeath, an old Irishman and K-9 watcher/devotee who appears whenever it's necessary to give some inspirational advice. This often sounds like thinly disguised faith-based movie messaging. Ruby is adorable and a great dog cop. If that is the case (NO SPOILERS), then how many Timmies down wells will Ruby rescue? (NO SPOILERS. I SAYS.
Which Movies will it Remind you Of?: Well, Ruby looks like Lassie if she was co-starring alongside Jim Belushi in K-9.
Watch out for Ruby and Bear, two border collie dogs named Shiloh and Bear. They should have been paid with huge piles of fresh raccoon leaves on the ground for them to play in, and plenty of head pats.
Memorable Dialog: These two script-based examples hint heavily at the fact that Restored by Ruby might be a kinda thing about belief in the Christian God:
Melissa loves her man in uniform. "The taller the cap, the closer you are to God!"
Wise old man says: "Now There's A wink From Above!"
Skin and Sex: None. It is possible to feel that Rescued By Ruby may be offended at the suggestion that Dan must have sex to help Melissa get pregnant.
Our Take: Fun fact about Rescued by Ruby: It's directed by Katt Shea, who helmed scandalous 1992 holy-crap-Drew-Barrymore-is-naked-in-it movie Poison Ivy. You can't say she lacks range. This doggo movie is faith-based and has a lighter hand than movies in which one team prays more than another and wins. Or where Kirk Cameron wanders through the forest when he sees a huge cross that shines in the golden sun. Both scenes are real and can be found in movies.
Ruby is the true story. It's a tale of a little miracle that happens sometimes in life. Some people prefer to refer to it as happy coincidence. The real Ruby was rescued from the brink and put to bed. Be thankful it doesn't ball-peen us in the cranium with bible verses, or indulge that who-rescued-who embroidered-on-a-throw-pillow horsecrap cliche about pet-owner dynamics.
The movie isn't groundbreaking, but it does have the anti-suspenseful scenes in which we attempt to get our dog to stay still so that she passes this or another official K-9 test. Some of us might even pray like Dan did. And the ending pushes happy coincidences into the realms of manipulative, manipulative schmaltz. The movie's technical structure is also poor. Some parts of it look like they were edited using a Homo viabilis-carved implement. But that's not a snobby film-critic gossip. It's a sweet and short movie that you can enjoy with your grandchildren and other family members. We're not here to entertain the people, we are here for the dogs, and the movie achieves its modest goals.
Our call: You don't have to take your lover out of town when you can get Ruby here. STEAM IT.
Are you going to stream #RescuedByRuby, or do you prefer not to? #SIOSI
— Decider (@decider) March 18, 2022
John Serba, a writer freelancer and film critic is located in Grand Rapids (Michigan). Read more of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com.
Netflix: Rerescued by Ruby