A Dog's Journey Movie Review - Commercial Purpose kills the heart of it!
A totally unwanted sequel to A Dog's Purpose this film has nowhere to go other than re-tread the same pathways of the earlier film
A Dog's Journey
U/A: Adventure, Drama, Comedy
Director: Gail Mancuso
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Henry Lau, Kathryn Prescott
A totally unwanted sequel to A Dog's Purpose this film has nowhere to go other than re-tread the same pathways of the earlier film. Bailey, a St Bernard (voiced by Josh Gad) lives on a Michigan farm with his beloved owner Ethan(Dennis Quaid), his wife Hannah (Marg Helgenberger), their widowed daughter-in-law Gloria(Betty Gilpin) and CJ, her baby daughter. But, insecure, CJ's mother decides to take her away, and Bailey who was entrusted with her care gets reincarnated into a puppy and embarks on 'several lives' quest to watch over the teen and then adult CJ(now Kathryn Prescott).
The heavens have been kind to Bailey - conferring him with several lives so that he can fulfil his dutiful obligations. It was a cute idea to begin with and showcased a dog's undying love for his human but two films on the trot, is a little difficult to stomach. The cuteness quotient has reduced considerably, originality doesn't exist anymore and the telling of it seems jaded and largely unappealing.
Check out the trailer here:
Director Gail Mancuso, who takes over from Lasse Halstrom( A Dog's Purpose) isn't able to lend anything special to this project. The clichéd tropes are tweaked but the attachment is rather middling. Of course, you are gonna love the animals in the picture, their loyalty will charm you and the pain of loss will grip you (when they die) – but it's not a consistent emotional journey. For most of it you stay detached and wonder why the producers needed to make this sequel.
The screenplay by W. Bruce Cameron (author of the novels on which both Purpose and Journey are based), Cathryn Michon, Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky doesn't have the depth of engagement that '..Purpose' brought with it. The bereavement melodrama and Mutt-Butt jokes don't curry favour and the attempt to install a female character as the recipient of undying pet-love is probably meant to broaden the target audience. The jaded tread of the narrative, the lacklustre development and stereotypical dog-lover elements make this experience a less than exciting one!
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