Starring: Dennis Quaid, Betty Gilpin, Josh Gad, Jake Manley, Henry Lau, Kathryn Prescott, Marg Helgenberger
Director: Gail Mancuso
Release date: 3rd May 2019
Ethan (Dennis Quaid) still lives on the farm with his wife, Hannah (Marg Helgenberger) and his dog, Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad). Also living with them is their young grandaughter, CJ and her mum, Gloria. Ethan and Hannah’s only son, Henry died in a car accident at a very young age and his girlfriend moved in with his parents. They dote on their grandaughter but Gloria is fiercely independent and starts to feel threatened by Ethan and Hannah. She decides to leave and take CJ with her, devastating the grandparents and leaving them heartbroken. Bailey the dog has grown older and one day Ethan finds a lump on his belly. A visit to the vet confirms his worst fears and it soon comes time to help Bailey’s pain go away. Ethan shares Bailey’s last few moments, and asks that if he should return again in another life, he needs to protect and look after CJ, wherever she may be. Then suddenly, Bailey is re-born again, this time in the body of a small girl puppy, named Molly. His/her first thought is CJ and it’s not long before fate draws them together… Molly’s new purpose is CJ and she will protect her for as long as possible and life will allow…
‘A Dog’s Journey’ is the follow up to the very successful ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ movie, released back in 2017. The movies are based on the novels by American author, W. Bruce Cameron and the first book in the series, published in 2010, spent an incredible 49 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list He also wrote ‘A Dog’s Way Home’ which was released as a movie earlier this year.
If you saw the first movie then you will have a rough idea of how the story might play out. It’s about connections, family and a search for a purpose in life. Bailey and Ethan’s connection is very strong and very deep and after the events at the end of the first movie, it’s obvious that Bailey is no ordinary dog. Through his thoughts and narration of the story, we get an insight into ‘man’s best friend’; an animal that loves unconditionally and who will do whatever it takes to get back to those who love them. Josh Gad is absolutely perfect in the roles of the various dogs (though Bailey at his heart) and brings an inquisitive yet loyal character to life. The young actress who plays CJ, Betty Gilpin is pretty incredible too. Her character is an old head on young shoulders, who’s had not the greatest childhood growing up.
If you are an animal/dog lover then it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will shed more than a few tears at various points during this movie. It’s a wonderful story that will make you look at dogs in a whole new light. What an amazing theory… that every dog has a purpose… to love and be loved by their owner and that their bond is so strong it enables them to return to their owner time and time again, life after life.
Watching this movie will probably make you want to hunt down copies of the novels and follow Bailey’s journey all over again. I loved it and will be heading to the library to get my copies. Go see this film and get the warm fuzzy feeling we all long for.