a dog's journey
DIRECTOR: Gail Mancuso (debut)
starring: kathryn prescott, betty gilpin, dennis quaid, and josh gad.
REVIEWER: emily carter
A dog finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.
This sweet sequel doesn't too far stray from the first, but is there such a thing as too many butt-sniffing jokes from a dog-narrator? I, for one, think not.
After A Dog's Purpose released in 2017, you may wonder where A Dog's Journey could really take the story. Yes, it's still the same idea of a dog reincarnating into different bodies, living several lives, all to fulfill its purpose - BUT a LOT of time has passed. Ethan (Dennis Quaid) is an old man now and his wish for Bailey the dog is to come back and look after his granddaughter CJ. A heartbreaking family event means Ethan and Hannah (Marg Helgenberger) find themselves separated from CJ and her troubled mother, Gloria (Betty Gilpin), and it's up to Bailey to hold the family together!
We watch another generation unfold, with more uncanny connections and Bailey reincarnating himself more than a few times. You can't help but melt at Josh Gad's Bailey, and I can confirm no dog-lover can leave the theatre dry-eyed.
While a lot of the film feels like it's positively dripping with cheese, don't fool yourself that this is completely a child's movie. I was so often taken aback at some of the truly tragic pieces of plot throughout. But it all comes back to a resounding, "thank goodness for Bailey". Life can sure be tough, but a "Boss Dog" (as Ethan puts it) is the hero we ALL need!
Not a kid's film, but not quuuuite a grown-up's one either - A Dog's Journey is a doggy movie that will no doubt warm your heart and make you feel a little more grateful for the furry best friend in your life.