This week I watched ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ and I know you might be thinking “This movie came out in 2017!” and “Its a bit late to review it now!”.
I will tell you why I have only just got around to watching it 2 years later…. I was scared!
I didn’t want this movie to end with a sad tale of loss and heartbreak, after watching ‘Marley and Me’ I was reluctant to watch another dog movie that would make me cry.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved ‘Marley and Me’ but the ending is so heart wrenching that I haven’t been able to watch it again. Watching the amazing real life story about John Grogan and his faithful, if not slightly unruly dog, Marley brought me to tears at the end. However ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ does not feel sad in the same way, yes there are sad parts to this story about one dogs consciousness and the different lives it leads, but I found it so uplifting
The narration from the point of view of the dog, voiced by Josh Gad, is told in a naive way you would imagine from a dog trying to make sense of humans day to day activities. The use of comedy, jokes and observations of humans really bring to life the character of Bailey, as he tries to discover the purpose of his different lives, that ultimately revolve around relationships with humans.
The different lives of Bailey highlight many aspects of how humans treat and use dogs, from street dogs, to well loved and cared for pets and also dogs not so well cared for by owners that don’t know what they are getting into when they find a cute puppy.
One of Bailey’s lives is that of a working dog. As a female German Shepherd Dog, Ellie. She is trained to be part of the canine police unit, demonstrating traits of the German Shepherd Dog breed and the training and discipline involved. Alongside this showing the innate sense dogs have about our feelings, seeming to pick up when we are sad. The relationship between handler and dog is crucial and Ellie is loyal to her handler even though she misses her human from her previous life.
This reminds me of a movie I loved as a kid, ‘Turner and Hooch’. Although in this movie Hooch is not a highly trained police dog, he is unwaveringly loyal to his partner Turner, Tom Hanks. Officer Turner is not altogether pleased with his new canine partner at the beginning of the movie but the duo go on to form an unbreakable bond and of course defeat the bad guys, not always in the most conventional way.
In the final reincarnation Bailey becomes Buddy, he is finally free to embark on his quest to find his beloved first owner Ethan, he returns to a familiar place with scents that he recognises and finds his way back to the farm where Ethan lives. Persuading Ethan to adopt him and finally making him see that he is the Bailey by performing their signature trick.
This is by no means the epic adventure to find the way home as taken by Chance, Shadow and Sassy from 1993's ‘Homeward Bound’, where the three pets use their instinct to guide them home across rocky mountains and wild rivers, encountering local wildlife along the way.
Bailey’s instincts help not only to find his way back to Ethan but to reunite some old friends. This is a movie that showcases all the traits that we love about dogs and make them such great human companions. Does Bailey ever fully understand a dog's purpose? You will have to watch it yourself to find out.
This is an uplifting adventure comedy centred around a loyal furry friend, a great watch for dog lovers.
Watch The Trailer
Do you have a favourite movie about dogs? Tell us in the comments below.