"A Dog's Journey" Review: The Forrest Gump of Dog Movies

"A Dog's Journey" Review: The Forrest Gump of Dog Movies

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A Dog’s Journey is basically the Forrest Gump of dog movies. While Forrest ran through  a part of our nation’s history, Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad) serves the same family through various doggy lives. Ultimately, it gives a child-like look into a few generations of one family’s life journey. It’s the exploration of the good, the bad and man’s best friend’s role in our lives that make this a cute (corny at times) family film.

Picking up where A Dog’s Purpose left off with a now adult Ethan (Dennis Quaid), the film begins with the turbulent relationship between Ethan, his wife Hannah (Marg Helgenberger) and their daughter-in-law, Gloria (Betty Gilpin). Gloria is living on the farm with their granddaughter CJ. While the grands are the loving grandparents anyone would want, Gloria detests feeling like she’s under their constant monitoring. She splits with CJ and not knowing where CJ is going, Ethan asks Bailey to watch over CJ as he takes his last breaths. 

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Throughout the film Bailey reincarnates as a different dog and whether he has a long stint with CJ or a brief encounter, he knows his purpose. Each life teaches him new tricks, while life teaches the steady adulting CJ (Kathryn Prescott) new lessons as well. Whether she has to learn how to thrive in the world without her father, an absentee mother, an abusive boyfriend, or that love may be found in her best friend Trent (Henry Lau), CJ experiences the growing pains we all have.

While this film has touching moments that may cause you to grab a tissue, it’s drawn out. There are so many fades to black or white throughout the film that signify a closing or opening to a new chapter in the story that you can get restless after the fourth reincarnation. When the major points of our lives are compacted into a film it can serve as a great opportunity to reflect or give you perspective. This film will allow you to consider your own journey and think about the four legged friend in your life that may have helped you along the way.

Rating: C+

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