FILM REVIEW: "A Dog's Purpose" is your usual feel-good tear-jerker fare
After a three-year break, the wonderful Lasse Hallstrom (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) returns with A Dog’s Purpose. Similar to his 2009 Richard Gere starring Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, A Dog’s Purpose is a heartwarming and lovely tale about a dog (voiced by Josh Gad) that ultimately falls short by over-estimating how profound its message is.
The film opens up to a rather scarring scene of a young puppy being taken to the pound. It is then that we realise the film's major plot line; dogs are reincarnated in other dog’s bodies when they die. It is through this formula that the film continues. Albeit being rather monotonous and highly predictable, it gives something for the child-friendly audience to look forward and to not get too hung up about when one dog dies. The dogs are obviously adorable, each individual one portraying a significant message within the film. This refreshing movie is full of good morals and uplifting scenarios, that will delight even the most cynical of viewers.
Credit goes to the young Ethan Montgomery, who delivers a sweet and charming performance. However, Dennis Quaid is nothing but cheesy, predictable bait who is only used for a familiar face. The film is lovely and sweet that raises important themes like family and caring for one another, but A Dog’s Purpose fails when they try too hard to figuring out “the purpose”. Rather than leaving it at the cute family stuff, the film goes on to talk about the purpose of being present, which almost went over my adult head, let alone the young audiences'.