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“A Dog’s Purpose” (Written Film Review & Trailer)








Review by John Delia

When’s the last time you saw a good dog movie with love, devotion and heroism? Not the animated type, but one that stars dogs doing some awesome stunts, creating the love for animals and even inspirational. Well you can find all that and more in the movie A Dog’s Purpose, a fun, adventure of a dog’s life that runs full circle. It’s fun for the whole family, but don’t be surprised when your youngster starts begging for a new furry friend.

After escaping from a cage, a staving young pup gets saved by Elizabeth (Juliet Rylance). Her son Ethan (Bryce Gheisar) wants to keep the dog and after an intervention with his father, Elizabeth wins out. Young Ethan names his new found friend Bailey (narrated by Josh Gad) and they get along famously. As time goes by Ethan (KJ Apa), now a popular high school football player, finds his true love with the help of Bailey.

Ethan (KJ APA) with BAILEY

The film goes on from there as Ethan finds himself losing a chance at a college scholarship when he gets hurt in a fire related accident. Director Lasse Hallstrom does a very good job of changing from one breed of dog to another showing all the quirks of the new pups personality. He provides a lot of comedy with the different dogs, touching scenes that warm the heart and some very dramatic situations that lead to heroic deeds. Mixed in with the passage of time the audience does get exposed to very strong scenes showing abuse, so please be cautioned when taking the immature youngsters to see A Dog’s Purpose.

Maya (KIRBY HOWELL-BAPTISTE) cuddles her new friend

The acting throughout is a group affair all doing very credible jobs. But the real stars of the movie are the dogs that are put through their paces and in some cases show amazing courage and agility. From Bailey to Buddy the circle of life continues to the very end giving the audience an insight in the suggestion of reincarnation. Do the souls, spirit and continued awareness of their lives really happen in a new born dog when one dog dies? It’s an age old question and one that surfaces in A Dog’s Purpose.

A Dog’s Purpose has been rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements and some peril. The peril involves a red retriever Bailey who gets caught up in a fire and afterward as a police officer’s trained German Shepard named Ellie.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A sweet movie that shows the importance of “man’s best friend”. (3.5 of 5 stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Juliet Rylance, Bryce Gheisar, KJ Apa, Britt Robertson, John Ortiz, Luke Kirby, Peggy Lipton, Pooch Hall and Dennis Quaid with Josh Gad as narrated voice of Bailey
Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom
Genre: Family, Adventure, Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating:  PG for thematic elements and some peril
Running Time: 2 hrs.
Release Date: January 27, 2017
Distributed by: Universal Pictures

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