#REVIEW: “THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
The Art of Racing in the Rain is based upon the Book of the same name, written by Garth Stein, and follows aspiring Formula One Race Car Driver Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia). The Film is told through the perspective of Denny’s dog Enzo (Kevin Costner) who documents important moments in Denny’s life, like falling in love, starting a family and achieving his career goals. Along the way, Enzo finds his own purpose in life and hopes when his time is up he will be reincarnated into a human.
The Film may have cast a different dog but it’s up to the same old tricks. Like prior Films in the dog-genre, its goal is to help us realize what’s really important in life. Throughout the Film, Enzo’s inner monologues say a lot of philosophical things about one’s purpose and where we find true happiness. It’s these moments that stand out and pull at the audience’s heartstrings. However, the Film’s tone changes in the Third Act causing the message to slightly slip away.
The Cast of the Film does their best to bring often one-dimensional characters to the screen, particularly Amanda Seyfried who plays Denny’s wife Eve. Eve feels underwritten but Seyfried’s energy and enthusiasm make Eve a lasting presence in the Film. Ventimiglia works well alongside Enzo and brings charm and empathy to Denny. He seems like he’s having the most fun in the race car driving scenes, however, they are far and few between. The voice of Enzo is brought to the screen with the help of Costner who has one of the more distinctive voices in Hollywood. Making it hard to look at Enzo and not think of Costner, however, this isn’t a bad thing because the dilemmas Enzo experiences are made comedic thanks to the Voice Work.
20th Century Fox Canada releases THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN on Friday, August 9, 2019.