Review: A Dog’s Way Home is soppy but effective, says Rashid Irani
This manipulative tear-jerker based on a popular canine story of the same name is soppy but effective, and aimed squarely at viewers who love animals.
It’s directed by Charles Martin Smith, whose resume includes similar crowd-pleasing titles like the two Dolphin Tale movies and Air Bud. This time, he tracks the adventures of a pit-bull named Bella (voiced in sappy tones by Bryce Dallas Howard).
The core of the script, penned by the source author W Bruce Cameron in collaboration with his wife Cathryn Michon, focuses on Bella’s perilous two-and-a-half-year journey home to her beloved master (Jonah Hauer-King) following a run-in with local animal control officers.
En route, the doggy has to stave off starvation and wolf attacks while also ensuring the safety of an orphaned cougar cub (rendered unconvincingly via CGI).
Predictably, the last act unfolds in full-on heartstrings-tugging mode. But even the most hard-hearted cynics are likely to shed a few furtive tears.