A Dog’s Purpose Review
From director Lasse Hallström, A Dog’s Purpose is an interesting movie that has cute fun animals and mature themes. This film did a very nice job of looking at the world from the perspective of a dog and showing us how they might think about it. Though with poor dialogue and rushed scenes, this film may not be as amazing as I had hoped.
The film starts with being introduced to a dog (narrated by Josh Gad) who is newly born, we watch as he grows up. He is a stray pup who plays all day with his brother’s and sisters. But the play stops when he is picked up by dog catchers and taken to be euthanized.We then discover that when a dog dies it comes back as a new dog. We proceed to follow this dog as it keeps living new lives and encountering different people. The dogs goes from being a small town boy’s dog, to a police dog, and many others. As the dog goes from one body to another it learns new lessons and begins to understand its purpose in life.
This film was fascinating to watch. It took many risks and experimented with shot composition and produced some really incredible visuals at times. Going into this film I was expecting it to be very Marley and Me or Hallmark Channel esque and yet it surpassed my expectations in terms of visuals. Another positive in the film was the talented animals in the cast. All of these dogs are so lovely and I fell in love with each one as I saw it. Unfortunately that is where my positives end. One aspect that I did not like was the lack of content in some of the stories. As the dog goes through different lives throughout the movie (he becomes a retriever, a german shepherd, etc.) he has different owners who all have different stories. With some of these stories the film spends a decent amount of time to introduce us to the new characters and develop connections and feelings. However, for as many as they do flesh out, there are just as many that are rushed and go by too quickly. One in particular gave me no time to feel something for the dog’s new family and from the trailers it was the one i was looking the most forward to.A relatively nit-picky thing that bothered me was, with the exception of one of the lives of the dog, the rest seemed short and because of this I did not feel i had enough time to have any feelings toward these people I encountered, though I felt like I was supposed to. This left me wanting more and feeling like some stories may have been cut much shorter to account for time. I found the worst part of the film to be the dialogue, whenever the movie was quiet and allowed me to just take in the visuals I was happy and enjoying myself. But whenever the characters began to speak I was immediately taken out of the film and I could only think about how unrealistic it was. Near the end there is this very emotional scene and there was no dialogue and I was beginning to get goosebumps, it was lovely and tender and I really felt for these characters. But again then someone said a line and instantly any feelings were gone and I was disappointed that they came so close and then ruined it.
While this film was very enjoyable at times I would like to warn parents that this film was not what I was expecting. Not many films these days really take PG rating seriously but I think this one should. What I mean is that the film deals with death, alcoholism, and animal abuse and I feel that parents should proceed with caution when taking their children to this film. There is a moment with a lot of blood that actually made me uncomfortable. I feel if your child really wants to see this movie by all means take them but be prepared to possibly need to explain some themes that you were not expecting going into this film. For its brilliant imagery and enjoyable time, I give A Dog’s Purpose a 3 out of 5.