A DOG’S JOURNEY Review — Resistance is Futile. Scratch Its Belly.

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A Dog’s Journey Review — Best of the three “A Dog’s…” movies, you’d better bring tissues.

A Dog's Journey reviewLet’s get this out of the way right up front: If you’ve ever loved a dog, owned a dog, petted a dog, seen a dog or even ‘liked’ a dog photo on Facebook, you WILL cry. It might not be big ugly crying, but you will definitely shed more than a tear or two. My advice is to either bring plenty of tissues, or wear a patterned scarf to the theater to sop up the moisture. That’s what I did. The scarf is now in the wash.

A Dog’s Journey is definitely the best of the three films based on books by author Bruce Cameron. A Dog’s Purpose, and A Dog’s Way Home are its predecessors.

This story is connected to the first, as we find Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad) where we last left him, with his loving owner Ethan, (Dennis Quaid) who is now an aging farmer, living happily ever after with his true love Hannah (Marg Helgenberger).

They are living not so happily ever after with Gloria (Betty Gilpin), the young widow of Hannah’s son, who was killed in a car crash. But Gloria’s toddler CJ is the light of everyone’s life, including Bailey’s.

Bailey promises to always find and protect CJ, and his successive lives involve his attempts to keep that promise. How can you not cry as you watch the story unfold? In fact, tears are leaking even as I write this.

Oh sure the story is manipulative, but it sucks me in every time. I do wish writers Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes, plus director Gail Mancuso would have paid more attention to the glaring plot holes involving humans (What do people actually do for a living? Why does the story appear to randomly shift between the 90’s and now? And that signature dog trick? It’s physically impossible.)

But when all is said and done, A Dog’s Journey is still a nice, simple diversion from all the flashing and crashing and violence and corruption we’re overdosed with these days. A feel good movie if ever there was one, just give in as it rolls over and invites you to scratch its belly.

Rated PG

1 Hour 48 Minutes

Did you like this A Dog’s Journey review? If so, get times and tickets to see it at Fandango.com.

A Dog’s Journey Review — Best of the three “A Dog’s…” movies, you’d better bring tissues.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Tina Nicole B. on May 16, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    good to hear it won’t be a heartbreaking movie though tears be more heartwarming i loved a dog’s purpose cried my eyes out but happy too nothing like depressing movie Marley and me in fact i was so skeptical on watching dog’s purpose that i waited til 2 months ago to watch it finding out that end was tears of joy thing i was like i can do this. oh i will have a bag with roll of toilet paper with me i plan on seeing tomorrow well the 17th by myself but i don’t mind seen lot of movies by myself i don’t drive but my mom told me she be around to bring me luckily local theater is like only 3 miles away. i absolutely love dogs. my own dog from when i was 15 had to be put down in 2015 2 weeks shy of her 18th birthday my mom stepdad and i were right with her whole time so hard but a relief in end she wasn’t sick or in pain. we had her cremated to so we have a nice urn at my moms i put a pic from 2013 when she was happy healthy with me at the beach in picture slot. i have times where i swear i can hear her bark and it’s very comforting. i still can’t watch marley and me but can’t wait for this sequel and in dog’s purpose i like even the sad parts were done so beautifully not graphic. felt more like a family film. i am not sure where i stand on animal reincarnation but either way nice fantasy nice to imagine that could be with our fur family. i will be the one in the theater blowing my nose like crazy don’t take many tears to have me sniffling and stuffy and with swollen red eyes when exiting the theater but like i’m sure wont be the only one even though i am going to a morning showtime. i love seeing the good reviews for this movie. not expecting a blockbuster but a sweet sentimental continuation of the story. i read a dog’s journey book in 4 hrs i couldn’t put it down though like 4 times i was ugly crying. i got the paperback. one best books i have purchased

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