In the latest pet movie, A Dog’s Purpose a dog (voice of Josh Gad) goes through several lives, thanks to reincarnation. The dog comes back many times, as different breeds and owned by different people. The main focus here is upon his life as Bailey, a dog beloved by growing boy Ethan (played by K.J. Apa). With the humans around him experiencing emotional and relationship issues, Bailey’s quest through existence is to work out what his purpose is.
RATED: A Dog’s Purpose is rated PG for mild themes
AUDIENCE: A Dog’s Purpose is for dog lovers. Welcome to a movie that unashamedly has been created for younger and older viewers – and everyone in between – who
WHAT’S GOOD: Not too much. The best thing to take from this howler of a family film is its ability to stir conversation. You can discuss everything from “what’s reincarnation?” to “does life have any purpose?”, thanks to issues raised throughout A Dog’s Purpose.
WHAT’S NOT: Most of A Dog’s Purpose is a dog’s breakfast, a limp and eye-rolling movie that barely can find its own purpose for existing. I found the whole shebang to be weak, cringeworthy and disappointing in it what it offers about the meaning of life. The insights and incidents the dog gets involved with are the stuff of B-grade soap operas, and the juvenile narration Josh Gad provides as the reincarnated dog is corny at best, insulting at worst. While it’s admirable that A Dog’s Purpose wants to reach an all-ages audience, it’s frustrating how it dumbs down whatever is presented. Grrrrrrrrr.
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: I’m a Christian, and I don’t believe in reincarnation, but that is not the reason why A Dog’s Purpose caused me to bark with boredom. Any movie or TV show that features content I disagree with isn’t instant grounds for me to not like it. What that movie or TV show needs to do for me, the viewer is draw me into its story and engage me with its ideas, characters and situations. A Dog’s Purpose failed to do that for me, but I still was able to notice one considerable thing: this dud of a movie provides viewers with a safe way into discussing questions which so many people are uncomfortable with. By having a dog ask about the purpose of life, some viewers might find it less confronting or offensive to ask themselves the same questions (rather than if a human character had been challenging them to do the same thing).
RELEASE DATE: A Dog’s Purpose is showing now