The movie you expect to be is not nearly as good as it could be
A Dog’s Way Home
Starring: Ashley Judd and Bryce Dallas Howard (voice)
If you saw the trailer for A Dog’s Way Home, you will not be surprised to know that the movie is summed up in that two-and-a-half minute block. A boy named Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) finds a dog named Bella (Bryce Dallas Howard, voice), and they become best friends. When Bella makes a run for it when she is with a relative of Lucas’ girlfriend, Bella makes the 400-mile journey back to find Lucas. Does she make it back alive?
Yes….yes she does. But how is the movie as a whole? Let’s break it down.
1.) Bryce Dallas Howard as Bella: The story of a runaway pet having to make a long-distance journey is nothing new, but Howard’s voice work is cute and infectious without being obnoxious. The script she is given isn’t the best, but Bella is the star and Howard gives her the voice she deserves.
2.) Big Kitten and the Pack: There are quite a few side stories of Bella’s adventure that doesn’t work (more on that later), but two of my favorite story arcs involve Bella befriending a pack of dogs that show her the ropes on how to be a stray (even though the pack is domesticated). The second, and my favorite story, involves Bella befriending a baby cougar she names Big Kitten. Bella starts as Big Kittens protector, and as Big Kitten grows, the tables turn. This is easily the best parts of the movie.
What Doesn’t Work
1.) The Hobo storyline: The most befuddling part of Bella’s journey finds our pup friend come across a homeless veteran who uses Bella to try and get extra cash because the dog is so cute. However, things take a turn, which may scare off some of the younger viewers of this otherwise lighthearted movie.
2.) Wait…how long?: At the end of the movie we are told how long Bella was gone. Let’s just say it is waaaaaaaay longer than I think it really would have been.
3.) No surprises: Like I said in the intro, the film is the trailer. I know the screenplay is co-written by W. Bruce Cameron, who wrote the novel the movie was based off of, but this is more the fault of whoever put the trailer together.
Overall, A Dog’s Way Home is inoffensive enough that you can bring the whole family, but this is aimed towards the kids looking at the cute puppy. It could be a lot worse, but my final grade for A Dog’s Way Home is a C.
What are your thoughts on this film? Follow me on instagram and twitter @moviebirb and let me know what you think. Fell free to start the conversation at the comments below and as always, be civil.