Sunday, 16 June 2019

A Dog's Way Home: DVD Review

A Dog's Way Home: DVD Review

It's not exactly rocket science - a film about a dog's bond with their master that transcends the obstacles put in their place.

Throw into that mix a 400 mile journey, and you've got some idea of what A Dog's Way Home is about - it's like a Nicholas Sparks version of an animal love tale - dog meets boy, dog and boy separated and will they be reunited?

Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard) is a young pup, living under a house with a group of stray cats. When Bella meets Lucas (Hauer-King), it's puppy love on both sides, and the pair forms a bond that can't be broken.

A Dog's Way Home: Film Review

But when a nasty animal control officer condemns Bella under city law, Bella's forced to leave the city for her own safety - and leave behind her new family. However, she decides that it's important that she gets home to Lucas, and so she sets out on an incredible journey to get home.

A Dog's Way Home is aimed young, and it hits every level that the book from W Bruce Cameron would want to.

From simplistic voiceover to narrative simplicity, this is a film that knows what it wants to do and how to avoid a majority of mawkishness to get there. But it's also not above throwing in montages with middle-of-the-road soppy songs and cover versions along with some ropey CGI animal work to pad it out. Its short episodic feel does hurt it in places, and while there are elements of The Littlest Hobo for when Bella comes into people's lives, it's harmless family fluff.

Interestingly, there's also a few threads of tolerance seeded for an audience that are younger - from the inter-racial relationships to the message of tolerance towards army veterans and acceptance of their plight, A Dog's Way Home has its heart in the right place, even if its execution is questionable at times.

It's a very familiar journey for the tried-but-true animal friendship film, and while the cougar and dog relationship is unusual at best, A Dog's Way Home is really about the bond between man and dog - and is what is likely to resonate with the audience. 

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