#REVIEW: “A DOG’S PURPOSE”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Get ready to cry.
A Dog’s Purpose follows the story of a canine that reincarnates over the course of five decades. In some of his lives he doesn’t get taken care of properly. In others he’s well-cared-for. But in every life he’s lived he’s learned something important through the lives of the humans around him. And he takes what he’s learned to the next life he lives. There’s one human that he shares a special bond with. It’s a boy named Ethan. And after years of being apart the canine somehow find’s his way back to Ethan to remind him of his true self.
A Dog’s Purpose is hard to watch for an animal lover. There are times the canine dies and it’s so close to reality it will hit audiences hard. The impressive thing about this Film is that even though those sad moments are bound to come, the funny moments even them out. Such as having a dog destroy a home when the owners are out. There’s a real place that Director Lasse Hallström has created with this Film. Those special moments that people have shared with their dogs, or any other animal, are seen on screen. Those funny moments when you’re feeding the dog under the table, to the cute moments when you sleep in the same bed, and ultimately to the pain of saying goodbye. In many ways, the dog’s purpose in the Film mirrors a human’s purpose. The whole idea of the dog is just a metaphor for a human. And it’s done very well. To the point where some may not notice.
Josh Gad, who plays the voice of the canine, makes the dog human. The liveliness in his voice when the canine has found something new, the sadness when things aren’t going right, and the excitement for food — is wonderfully captured by Gad. This should come as no surprise for those who saw Frozen. But the real show stealer for the Film is the boy who plays young Ethan, Bryce Gheisar. The kindred spirit he has and the interactions he has with the dog are adorable. And of course, this goes without saying, all of the dogs are wonderful in this Film.
Overall, A Dog’s Purpose is going to make people cry and laugh in the cinema. There is a realism to it that I haven’t seen in previous Films about dogs. It isn’t a film that it perfect, there are many cheesy and over-the-top scenes, but it’s still enjoyable. Even if you’re crying most of the time.
Universal Pictures Canada will release A Dog’s Purpose on Friday, January 27, 2017.