A Dog's Purpose online movie review - Will make you laugh, cry and question the true purpose of life.
There are many movies that focus on a dog's world but not about what the dog is actually thinking. A Dog's Purpose does the opposite, by focusing on the dog and a dog's place in the world.
This perfect story will make you laugh, cry and question the true purpose of life. The movie sets out to inspire the audience and does it by taking the main character through an emotional and long adventure filled with comedy, drama and even some romance.
The story begins with a happy puppy entering the world, ready to play and explore. Sadly for the puppy, his life doesn't last long. After passing away, the puppy is surprised to come back as a puppy again. This time in a different body. Soon, he becomes a family pet named Bailey and specifically, is a best friend to the son of the family. As time passes, the boy grows up and heads to college. Bailey passes away once again, but this time he's happy to have lived a long life with a human he loves. Bailey comes back again and again and again. Each time Bailey comes back as a different dog breed (or gender) with a different life purpose. Finally, after many lives, he realizes that his main purpose is to spend time with the people he loves and to help them in their lives as much as he can.
Only a few movies truly make me cry and, within the first 15 minutes, this became one of them. This was done not by blasting sad emotions with sad music at the viewer, but by building a real connection with the characters. The story doesn't put a smile on everything. It is realistic and very sad and depressing at times. People who own dogs, like me, will never look at their dogs the same way. They will look at them as true companions and family members.
I really enjoyed the voice-over (Josh Gad) for Bailey and his other incarnations. His voice-over work is phenomenal and suits all the dogs in the story so well. The cinematography is also spot on. It often shows specific scenes from the dog's perspective which is a genius idea and truly allows one to have a deeper connection with the character. The entire cast evokes emotion and keep a complex story entertaining.
The scene where Bailey/Ellie swim in the water is my favorite because it is an action-packed scene that is exciting but also very sad. Another reason to bring up this scene is that it is the scene that has elicited accusations of animal abuse by some animal activists. In this scene, you can clearly see the dog is not in distress. The dog is happy and greatly enjoying the activity as is the case for almost every single scene in the film. Throughout, you see things happening to the main character which would make anyone want to adopt a dog. The message of dog adoption is so strong that it makes me wonder why animal rights activists are boycotting this film when it does nothing but hurts this wonderful and inspirational story to come out and support animal adoption. A Dog's Purpose will inspire hundreds, if not thousands, to go out and adopt dogs to take care of and love.
A Dog's Purpose has some brutally sad facts about the world around us which would be too much for younger kids. There is also mild violence in several scenes, so I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for its beautiful message about the purpose of life, its call to action for dog adoption, spectacular voice-over work, emotional acting and unique cinematography.
Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, visit kidsfirst dot org.