It’s hard to love this sentimental shaggy dog tale
A Dog’s Journey (PG) Verdict: Doggedly soppy
THIS is the little-awaited (at least by me) sequel to the 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose, which was mawkish and twee and a colossal box-office hit.
Like the first film, it is based on a book by W. Bruce Cameron, and follows the same saccharine premise, that a much-loved family dog keeps being reborn as other dogs. He is folksily voiced all the way through by Josh Gad.
As in A Dog’s Purpose, a human’s worth is measured entirely by their level of canine empathy. Anyone who doesn’t like dogs is rotten and toxic, and this includes Gloria ( Betty Gilpin), the feckless, Bonioidle daughter-in-law of Hannah (Mary Helgenberger).
Gloria doesn’t care much for dogs and by extension is a rubbish mother to little CJ, who grows up to be played in adulthood by British actress Kathryn Prescott, and eventually, with the help of the hound formerly known as Bailey, finds her way to the Norman Rockwell-style farm where she spent her toddler years, just in time to see her grandmother’s cuddly husband ( Dennis Quaid,
pictured) breathe his last. Heaven is represented as a huge field, which would be the corniest thing in the film if it wasn’t for absolutely everything that has come before.