Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
Who could’ve guessed that I would review the sequel to ‘A Dog’s Purpose’? I suppose I should’ve expected it. My Dad surprised me and my Mum with showing us ‘A Dog’s Journey’ on DVD one Saturday evening. I wonder if this is going to be a trend for us as a family to watch doggie movies. 😀
‘A Dog’s Journey’ is of course the follow-up to ‘A Dog’s Purpose’, based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron. The film stars Dennis Quaid back as Ethan and Josh Gad who voices Bailey, Ethan’s dog who’s been through reincarnations in the previous film to be a St. Bernard/Australian Shepherd mix.
This film was released this year in May 2019. My Dad suggested watching this film when we were at a cinema once. But I wasn’t sure about that since we hadn’t seen the first movie yet. In a way, I regret that but in another way; it was probably for the best since I would’ve been confused anyway.
I think you would’ve needed to have seen ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ first before seeing ‘A Dog’s Journey’ in order to understand what’s going on with the dog Bailey reincarnated again and again. It isn’t an issue for me in the sequel as I did know what to expect after having watched ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ here.
With that said, ‘A Dog’s Journey’ is a better film than ‘A Dog’s Purpose’. I found myself connecting with the characters and their emotional journeys throughout this film. I even found myself in tears by the time the film came to an end. I was feeling pretty emotional after watching ‘A Dog’s Journey’.
Here’s what the film’s about. Ethan’s dog Bailey gets given a new destiny. He has to protect Ethan’s granddaughter CJ when she gets taken away by her mother. As you would expect, Bailey gets reincarnated in multiple lives in order to be with CJ and this gets filled with love and friendship a lot.
When Bailey the St. Bernard/Australian Shepherd mix dies early on in the film, he gets reborn into… a female beagle named Molly who eventually meets up with a CJ as a young girl, played by Abby Ryder Fortson. It was fun to see CJ having Molly as a little girl and keeping her hidden from her mom.
CJ’s mom, Betty Gilpin as Gloria, is rather neglectful and emotionally abusive towards her daughter. She leaves CJ at home on late nights and gets easily drunk. She’s not the ideal role model for being a mother and CJ gets easily frustrated when she gets abandoned. Thus, why she has Molly as her dog!
Eventually CJ grows up to be played by Kathryn Prescott, who happens to be a sweet-natured and kind-hearted girl. She soon leaves her neglectful mother before getting into a car accident caused by a former boyfriend Jake Manley as Shane. The car accident causes Molly to die which was pretty sad.
After that, Molly gets reincarnated to become a male English Mastiff named Big Dog. He sees CJ briefly but doesn’t get to go with her as he’s currently owned by someone called Joe at a gas station. Thankfully he gets reincarnated again to become Max, a Biewer Terrier, and gets owned by CJ again.
What I like especially about this film is how Bailey’s owner, Ethan, knows that CJ’s dogs Molly and Max are actually Bailey in spirit. Bailey proves this to CJ when doing the dog trick that Bailey can do as established in the first film. CJ realises this herself and tells her best friend Trent whom she loves.
The film also features Marg Helgenberger as Hannah, Ethan’s wife, who replaces Peggy Lipton from the first film since the original actress sadly passed away. There’s also Henry Lau as Trent, CJ’s best friend and love interest. I liked how the cancer plot for Trent was played out and resolved in the film.
So yeah! ‘A Dog’s Journey’ is a better film than ‘A Dog’s Purpose’. I have enjoyed seeing these dog movies in a row this month and being able to follow the continuing story throughout. They might be confusing for the uninitiated, but I felt emotional at the end of the second film which is a good thing.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!