A Dog’s Purpose

Watched: 7 January

Schmaltzy, down-home drama from Lasse Hallström, who returns to familiar territory with another canine-centric story. (I must admit that I haven’t seen his earlier Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, and have no intention of doing so having sat through this cack.) A Dog’s Purpose applies a particularly odd approach to the idea of reincarnation, but rather than making any salient points about life after death or exploring the idea in any meaningful way it’s merely used as a plot device to pull at the audience’s heartstrings as various dogs sharing the same consciousness die, particularly during the second half of the film. I suppose some kids of a certain age might enjoy it, and will probably cry at the right bits, but the film is so nakedly and unashamedly manipulative I had little goodwill left towards it by the end. The thoughts of the dogs are all voiced by Josh Gad, which probably tells you all you need to know about this film… and all you need to know about Josh Gad. (*)