As good as the films of 2014 were, you know what was even better? The animals. There were lots of standout roles for animals this year, both real and imaginary. In almost every film I watched, there was some cute dog or cat hanging around just because.
So I figured why not honor the best one? It was pretty tough, but I decided to choose an animal based on what it means for the film as a whole. So even with all of the dogs and cats of varying importance, only one puppy stood out and actively set the plot of its film in motion.
Honorable Mentions: That running dog in Godzilla, Digby and the “crazy cute” dog from The Interview, that one cat from The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1, the turtle from Laggies, that one cat from Gone Girl, that one cat from The Grand Budapest Hotel, the horse in the Red Sea from Exodus: Gods and Kings, Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, Koba/Caesar from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Daisy – John Wick
With all of the big action films released last year, I forgive you for forgetting about John Wick. Keanu Reeves may have earned himself an undeserved reputation for starring in funky movies lately, but that’s not the case with John Wick. An intelligently crafted assassin film within a well built (and super interesting) world that I want to visit again and again. It both mocks and pays homage to action films of the 80s by showing off a different kind of revenge.
You see, Daisy, the Best Dog in Film 2014, was a gift to John from his dying wife. With only ten or so minutes on screen, Daisy becomes the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. And only cuter through John’s interactions with her (feeding her cereal, letting her sleep on the bed) until she’s tragically taken away. Yeah, Daisy’s screen time is cut sadly short but also helps set the film in motion. As John Wick sets out to take vengeance for his dog, we got the Best Action Film of 2014 with great stunt choreography, a charged performance from Reeves, a well built assassin world full of rules, Ian McShane comes out of nowhere and is just awesome, and Willem Dafoe is fantastic. Oh, and that final fight in the rain was the greatest layer of cheese I’d ever eaten.
So I guess that makes two awards for John Wick.
What are your favorite animal perfomances (and to a lesser extent, Action films) of 2014? Agree or disagree? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! Stay tuned through the rest of the week for more “Best Of” lists!