“A Dog’s Purpose” Review

6 May, 2017

Director: Lasse Hallström
Screenwriters: W. Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, Audrey Wells, Maya Forbes, Wally Wolodarsky 
Director of Photography: Terry Stacey
Cast:
Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton

Synopsis: A tale of life and death told from the perspective of man’s best friend as he scampers his way through numerous lives while experiencing the highs and lows of a humble existence.

A Dog’s Purpose Review:

A film of simple pleasures and life-affirming affection from a director whose movies have become the epitome of sentimental storytelling, “A Dog’s Purpose” sees Lasse Hallström recapturing the magic of “Hachiko” with a screenplay built on the bark of unbreakable loyalty but suspending disbelief further than it can ever be stretched in a viable movie. Charming its way into viewers’ hearts with a cyclical chain of events, “A Dog’s Purpose” reincarnates its star several times, teaching him about the bad and the beautiful through a wide-eyed lens which piggybacks off the adorability of its various canine contenders.

Delightfully varied in its choice of four-legged stars, the film relies on the naivety of its playful pups as innocence and endearment drive the story in unpredictable directions while tale-chasing and food-hunting shape a succession of lives built entirely on the hunt for sustenance and snuggles. Finding meaning in the simplest of interactions, the movie captures the smells and sounds of the dog world as Hallström turns his viewers into sense-driven canines snuffling their way through acres of adventure.

Like a heart-warming alternative to Todd Solondz’s “Wiener-Dog,” the film uses its titular animal as the catalyst for a string of scenarios, hunting for endless joy in each regeneration yet not always finding the same level of happiness on the other side. Ending on a lighter note with a tender yet absurd “Homeward Bound” finale, the movie finds its purpose in providing for all the family as tears of joy from those of all ages assist in cleansing the souls of the most invested of dog lovers while cat owners nod along in silence with dry eyes but open hearts.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
A Dog's Purpose
Rating
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