A Dog's Purpose

*1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

A Dog's Purpose
"Don't expect revelations beyond those designed to appeal to eight-year-old girls and warm blooded animal lovers"

What is the point of life? What is the point of dogs? What is the purpose of the point?

Relevant questions no doubt and yet the answers remain flatulent - hot air and cold comfort. Let's start again.

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These dogs have a narrative voice (BTW no animation has been used in the making of this film). It is a man's voice which means it reflects human perception of what it feels like to be canine. Don't expect revelations beyond those designed to appeal to eight-year-old girls and warm blooded animal lovers.

Dogs like to play, have fun, sniff bottoms and eat as often as allowed, with, if lucky, treats between meals. If the two legged boss hogs behave decently and don't tie them up in the yard in winter or kick them with steel capped work boots they tolerate house training, baby talk and a certain degree of boredom. Otherwise they have trouble understanding the point of it all, as will the audience.

Reincarnation has its place, too. There are four dogs on show here which are the same dog in different lives. Each has a separate story to tell which tends to type cast dads as anti pet for practical reasons and daughters as sentimental pushovers.

The police dog, a German Shepherd (what else?), has a proper job. The others are affiliated to families, or on the run.

The concept of reincarnation is confusing. Why should dogs return as dogs? Why not fleas, or tigers? Are there rules controlling the post death experience? Is it all make believe and dung?

As for the film, it soft pedals all the way. By the end you are on your knees, pleading, "Lassie! Come home."

Reviewed on: 02 May 2017
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A dog looks to discover his purpose over the course of several lifetimes and owners.

Director: Lasse Hallström

Writer: W Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, Audrey Wells, Maya Forbes, Wally Wolodarsky, based on the novel by W Bruce Cameron

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, K.J. Apa, Bryce Gheisar, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, Gabrielle Rose, Michael Bofshever, Britt Robertson, Logan Miller, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Pooch Hall, John Ortiz, Nicole LaPlaca, voice of Josh Gad

Year: 2017

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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