It would be easier to enjoy the madcap, stranger-than-fiction revelations of The Dog if it weren’t for the queasy awareness that its central subject is getting such a great kick out of all this. He is John Wojtowicz, the real-life guy whose botched 1972 bank robbery later became the basis for the Al Pacino film Dog Day Afternoon. The unlikely events of that movie really were based on fact, and The Dog is here to introduce us to the truth—if you want to believe Wojtowicz.
Early in the film, Wojtowicz—interviewed by directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren over a period of years—comes across as blunt and outrageous, with a voice like Joe Mantegna in aggressive wiseguy mode. He declares himself a “pervert,” and the evidence follows.