A Dog's Journey (2019) Movie Review
A Dog's Journey (2019) Basics
A Dog's Journey follows a family and their loyal dog, the grandfather asks his dog to protect his granddaughter, who is taken away from him and his wife by their deceased son's wife. It stars Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Katheryn Prescott, Henry Lau, Betty Gilpin, and Marg Helgenberger.
Produced by : Amblin Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment, Walden Media, Alibaba Pictures, Pariah Entertainment Group
A Dog's Journey (2019)
When I heard about this movie, I already knew it was going to be a tear-jerker. I wasn't even planning on watching this movie except a friend of mine told me I should. So, against my better judgement I watched it. To preset this, I am a huge animal lover, can't stand animals dying in movies. Would prefer the humans to die over the animals. But going into the movie, I knew the premise so I thought I was prepared. I was in fact not prepared.
The movie incorporates enough of the human aspects combined with the dog being involved throughout the story. Something that irked me just a little bit was the voice they chose for the thoughts of the dog, Josh Gad, not a fan of his voice. It is too annoying i.e. whiny and for such a prominent voice throughout the movie I wish they would have chosen a different actor to play this role.
To focus on the humans in the movie for a moment, all of them made me feel. Which is amazing. Because this is such an emotional movie, and every actor/actress pulled at my heart. Either because they were terrible i.e. Gloria played by Betty Gilpin. Her character struggles through most of the movie, having lost her husband and now essentially alone with a child to raise. Feeling like the world is against her, she refuses the help of her deceased husband's parents. The parents are kind, lovable grandparents that we all strive to have.
Then we watch the granddaughter growing up, a difficult sight to see her struggling and in an essentially loveless house with an alcoholic mother always going out and leaving her daughter alone. This leads the daughter to find a puppy, and through some sneaky conniving trickery she convinces the owner giving the puppies away that her mother approved the puppy coming home. It hurt to see this young girl so starved for love while her mother just drinks and f***s away her sorrow, completely ignoring how her daughter feels.
We follow the daughter through multiple stages in her life. Toddler, child, teenager, then adult. But we only see the grandparents at the beginning, which is a shame, but necessary for the story. For the granddaughter to struggle through her life, with no real support system except from her dog. There are so many interesting things that they added to this movie. The cancer sensing for example, to show that dogs can be trained to smell the difference in scent in people who have cancer which of course is a real thing. This plays a role later in the movie in saving someone's life and proving to the granddaughter that perhaps this dog was a dog from earlier in her life.
Dennis Quaid knew from the get go that the dog that eventually came back to his home with his granddaughter was his dog. His certainty was adorable and then he ends up proving it by showing off a trick only his dog could possibly know. There's so much love and pain in this movie, filled with a twinge of aching reality that makes you appreciate it even more. It isn't a happy movie, which is refreshing for most.
Another side note I really appreciated was the different types of dogs implemented in this movie. They didn't go with basic dogs, and each new life he was a new dog. Of course, each time the dog passed away I was crying. Even though I knew it was coming, I tried so hard, but still. I pretty much sobbed through the whole movie. Which I am certain was the goal, so they succeeded in that. It was an extremely bittersweet ending. Which left me pretty dehydrated from all the crying, honestly, so many tears shed for this movie.