Friday, April 21, 2017

'A Dog's Purpose' Is Sappy and Manipulative; Still Manages to Charm

In A Dog’s Purpose, a dog (voiced by Josh Gad) is reincarnated as various canine breeds across a couple of decades in the quest to discover what’s, well, a dog’s purpose.  Bryce Gheisar, KJ Apa (Riverdale’s Archie), Dennis Quaid, John Ortiz, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste play the dog’s different owners through the years.

A Dog’s Purpose is sappiness overload.  It’s also a typical “pet” exploitation film – factory assembled to tug at its audience’s heartstrings and make them go, “Awwww.”  But despite being corny and manipulative, it somehow manages to work at most parts.  I would be lying if I say that this movie didn’t incite some emotional response from me.  It did.  It moderately gave me the feels.
It also have some chuckle-inducing humor; it even made me laugh more than once.

A Dog’s Purpose is far from being a brilliant film.  It doesn’t have narrative depth.  It offers nothing of profound artistic value.  Its insights are clichéd (e.g. a dog is happy when his owner is happy).  But it has its charms as a simple, undemanding movie.

As a cat lover myself, I don’t have great affinity for dogs.  Still, I found it a generally adorable and endearing watch.

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