Hot Take: Apparently, a dog’s purpose is to die on screen to manufacture tears from the audience. It isn’t the first time, it’s been done but it’s never been done with this frequency. Pure dog lover propaganda with dog abuse allegations as background noise don’t jive.
Your dog is going to die. I think that’s the point of A Dog’s Purpose. If you’re lucky enough, though, your next dog might be your old dog in a new body. I guess that’s the other point of A Dog’s Purpose. Trying to figure the point of this one, other than to make dog lovers screech, “Awwwwwww!” and children gleefully giggle, that’s the only logical conclusion.
A Dog’s Purpose features the voice of Josh Gad as Bailey… and Ellie… and Tino… and Buddy. Oh wait, there was that dog in the beginning that never got a name that was euthanized after being captured by a dog catcher and taken to the pound. He was the voice of that one, too. Yup! Lots of doggie deaths. It’s like someone thought they could garnish the same response as Old Yeller and Marley & Me by increasing quantity and sacrificing quality.
The audience gets to join Dog With No Name/Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Buddy as he (she) is reincarnated multiple times as a different dog after each emotion-tugging death. Gad is our narrator and shares what the dog is thinking. (Hint: It’s frequently food and, oddly enough, most frequently pretzels.) Through this thought process, we can gather the person who wrote this movie loves dogs but doesn’t give them too much credit in the brains department. Instinctually, the dogs are on another level though as these shallow thinkers know how to do everything from escape locked garages, defecate with excellent timing and chase their tail whenever a human needs to smile to swim, rescue humans in distress and fetch.
Do I sound unimpressed by A Dog’s Purpose? Well, there’s good reason for that. (Hint: I was unimpressed.) If anything, the multiple deaths of our main character water down the emotions. It would be like getting upset Mario was squashed by a flying turtle shell in Super Mario Brothers. You know he’s coming back so what’s all the fuss about? If anything, this movie for dog lovers implies there’s no reason to fret because your family pet is coming back in another life and, if you’re really lucky, he or she might come back to you. Ugh!
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Dogs Are Cute
That’s what you want, right? If that’s enough, go see A Dog’s Purpose.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Ridiculous Subplots
The storylines that develop in the background of this canine lovefest are hard to buy. It’s hard to blame the writer(s) since I’m pretty sure they were stuck with whatever the book this was based on chose to write about and were probably pretty confident the audience would be emotionally melting away at the sight of so many dogs they wouldn’t care anyway.
- A Team of Writers Is Never A Good Thing
It took 5 writers to bring A Dog’s Purpose to life. The collective group was previously responsible for George of the Jungle, Muffin Top: A Love Story, the sequel to Diary of a Wimpy Kid (who knew there was a sequel?) and The Rocker. Yikes!
- Alleged Abuse
Right before the film’s release, a slickly edited video surfaced alleging animal abuse on the set of A Dog’s Purpose. As all sides have weighed in (except for the dog because, well, dogs can’t talk) and PETA has requested people boycott the film, the filmmakers made it easier for people to avoid by making a film that isn’t very good in the first place.