Many will know Grant Gustin best for his role as DC Comic’s speedster The Flash over on CW. However, his newest role is in Rescued by Ruby over on Netflix. The film only hit the streamer on the 17th of March but has soared to the top three most-watched films on the platform.
The film follows Grant Gustin as Dan, a state trooper with ambitions of joining the K-9 unit. The hurdle Dan needs to overcome, of course, is he needs a dog and a dog he finds in Ruby. Ruby is a shelter animal and is known to be naughty, but intelligent. Together both Dan and Ruby go on a journey to make their respective dreams come true, for Dan, being a successful member of the K-9 search and rescue unit and for Ruby, being part of a loving home.
The heartwarming tale is also reportedly based on a true story. According to the Mami Herald, Grant Gustin’s Dan is indeed based on true-life Rhode Island State Police Cpl. Daniel O’Neil and his K-9 partner Ruby, who is an Australian Shepard and Border Collie mix. The pair met in 2011 and still work together today. Daniel O’Neil now runs an eighteen-strong K-9 Unit and had this to say about his faithful companion: “It’s like divine intervention. She was given a chance and she’s been doing everything she can to pay it back,” he said. “You have this dog that was given up on, and she’s changed so many people’s lives.” You can see the trailer below.
It sounds as if Ruby is a real-life hero and if the film mirrors just a fraction of her and Dan’s heroics, then there is no wonder as to why the Rescued by Ruby is doing well on Netflix. The American Humane Hero Dog organization even awarded Ruby the nation’s “Search and Rescue Dog of the Year” in 2018. Grant Gustin’s version of Ruby, is the performing canine Bear, another rescue shelter animal, who reportedly was saved by the film’s trainers from being put down. This again proves that this film is a heartwarming tale on both sides of the movie camera.
Over on film-review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, you can get a clearer picture of just how well the film is doing with viewers. Currently, Grant Gustin’s Rescued by Ruby boasts an incredibly strong 88% audience rating. Which can only mean that it is an extremely watchable flick for people’s home cinema entertainment. In terms of the critical response of the movie, there hasn’t been a huge amount of reviews out of the gate just yet, so perhaps the jury is still out on this particular dog flick. Time may well tell a different picture, as more reviews are sure to come out in the coming days.
However, both The Wrap and Screenrant have had their say on the film’s quality. With the former’s William Bibbiani noting that for a family flick, there are some particular crime aspects that may leave a few uncomfortable questions for parents to answer, but goes on to commend Grant Gustin’s performance as Dan as anchoring the film’s family orientated tone. Rachel Labonte of Screenrant appears to be on the fence when it comes to Rescued by Ruby, leading her review in saying; “Rescued by Ruby isn’t exactly a perfect or deep movie, but it is bound to draw smiles and tears from anyone who has cuddled with a dog of their own.”
Labonte appears to have struck on what many will assume would have been Netflix’s intention when they gave the green light to Rescued by Ruby. It’s a combination of a beloved tv star in Grant Gustin, and the power of how much people love dogs is just what the doctor ordered in terms of family-friendly cinema. Perhaps it is low-hanging fruit, but Netflix’s end goal is to pull in viewers, and it certainly seems to have done the trick. Canine-based films seem to be a current trend, with Channing Tatum’s Dog recently in cinemas, no prizes for guessing what Tatum was starring alongside in this one.
Of course, Rescued by Ruby is still in its infancy, but it is a strong start to its life on Netflix for Grant Gustin and his co-stars, Scott Wolf, Kaylah Zander, Camille Sullivan, and Tom McBeath. The film is directed by Katt Shea, known for works such as Nancy Drew and The Rage: Carrie 2. Grant Gustin will be hoping the film success continues, as he has momentum behind him already with CW’s The Flash. The Flash is currently in the middle of its eighth season, with the next episode prepared to air on the 23rd of March. Meaning there is plenty of Gustin content to go around for all his fans, be they comic book obsessed, dog lovers, or both.