By: Nick Ferwerda
A Dogs Purpose tries to demonstrate how strong a bond between man and man’s friend can truly be. It’s also about a dog (voiced by Josh Gad) finding what its life purpose is over the course of multiple lives and many different experiences. It’s odd how five screenwriters (including W. Bruce Cameron – the author of the best-selling book this film is based on) have failed to authenticate characters or emotion – it’s all a forced cliché.
The film has its highs and lows, but it’s also filled with cheesy jokes and subpar performances. Its main goal, however, is to make the audience cry. And, what’s the easiest way to do that? Have a beloved pet die on screen, of course. Watching A Dog’s Purpose is a manipulative experience, and potentially traumatizing for children. Movie goers receive a happy ending eventually, but it’s a difficult journey getting there.
A real disappointment from director Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, Dear John).
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Nick Ferwerda: @NickFerwerda