So Mad Dog and Glory fall in love, and when it comes time to fork over his present, Dobie refuses, setting in motion one of the silliest denouements in cinema history. Will Mad Dog finally live up to his moniker? Will Milo have to kill him? Will Dobie get the girl? Will there be anyone left in the theater when the credits roll? Between her fatalism ("Life is what happens while you're waiting for your ship to come in") and his nebbishness, it's hard to understand why Milo wouldn't be happy to get rid of them. But Hollywood has its rules.
It didn't have to be this way. As the controversy surrounding Joel Schumacher's Falling Down has recently underscored, the notion of the frustrated introvert who plays by the rules and gets screwed for it still touches a nerve. While it would have been out of character for Mad Dog to explode in a Taxi Driver-like paroxysm of violence, it would have been nice to see him do something other than sit down on the front steps of his apartment building and wait for the bad guys to show up. By bailing out in the third act and taking the happy-trails route, Mad Dog and Glory rings as hollow as the title character's nickname.