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‘A Dog’s Journey’ – Review

‘A Dog’s Journey’ – Review

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If you’re looking for that adorable film that is sure to fill your heart up with plenty of love and light then you need to watch A Dog’s Journey.

Some friendships transcend lifetimes. In A Dog’s Journey, the sequel to the heartwarming global hit A Dog’s Purpose, beloved dog Bailey finds his new destiny and forms an unbreakable bond that will lead him, and the people he loves, to places they never imagined.

Following on from 2017’s A Dog’s Life, A Dog’s Journey continues the story of Bailey, the ever loveable canine companion of Ethan Montgomery (Dennis Quaid) who affectionately calls him Boss Dog and who now finds himself on a new journey to bring meaning to Ethan’s family through Bailey’s relationship with Ethan’s granddaughter CJ (Kathryn Prescott). Once again Josh Gad really shines in the role of Bailey and his new journey through a stream of multiple lives is sure to make audiences shed a tear or two here.

Gad really gets to the heart of who Bailey is as a character and his mission and purpose in life and given to him by Ethan to watch over CJ and look after as she grows up in a very complicated world. Gad injects the film with plenty of laughter, love and hope and his internal narrative keeps things interesting at all times.

Returning to the screen alongside Gad once more is Dennis Quaid as Bailey’s original owner Ethan. While his presence is strong in the film’s first act, Ethan’s role in the film is more of that of a sage-like figure, who alongside his Boss Dog keeps an eye out on his granddaughter CJ and tries to set her a path to follow. Quaid’s portrayal of Ethan is very much in keeping with the quintessential American feeling of the story and Ethan’s character and actions, plus the life and location that he lives in and leads evoke that classic Norman Rockwell feeling. Quaid again injects himself fully into the character and his honesty and can do attitude as Ethan really light up the screen.

Joining A Dog’s Journey is rising newcomer Kathryn Prescott who takes on the role of CJ and she brings a considerable amount of personality to this character. At times hopeful and optimistic and then set upon by fear and complexity Prescott’s CJ is a young woman who is really trying to find herself in a very difficult world. Through the connection she shares with all the dog’s throughout her life, in the form of a reincarnated Bailey, she is able to discover the best parts of herself. Part of what makes Prescott so enjoyable to watch is her naturalness in the part and she really crafts the impression of an ordinary young woman living her life who gets a helping hand from one very special canine.

A Dog’s Journey makes for a very interesting watch in relation to it’s thematic elements. On one hand you as an audience member are watching a uniquely enjoyable and fun film that concerns itself with dogs and the joys that they bring to our lives. Then there is the deeper meaning to the work. Through it’s unique narrative that involves Bailey and the multiple lives that he lives we get an interesting examination of themes of death and reincarnation and what it means to live a full life. While Bailey might only be a dog, his unique viewpoint upon the world offers up an interesting mirror from which we can examine our own existence and the film’s exploration of these deeper themes makes the film’s cinematic experience that much more engaging.

If you’re seeking a film that will bring you a deep sense of joy and a unique perspective on the world then make sure you check out A Dog’s Journey.

Image: Universal Pictures