'A Dog's Way Home' Review: Pitbull Star Triumphs Over Human Actors Kept On Short Leashes - Deadline
Deadline.com - Fri 11 Jan 21:01 GMT

'A Dog's Way Home' Review: Pitbull Star Triumphs Over Human Actors Kept On Short Leashes - Deadline

I am a sucker for dog movies. From Old Yeller to my favorite My Dog Skip, and from Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey to Benji, I just can’t get enough of them. Emotionally I am a wreck a…

  That was also the case with 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, which was the first in a planned series of canine films based on W. Bruce Cameron’s books.

  Although not directly a sequel to that movie (Universal is actually opening that one from Cameron, A Dog’s Journey in April) we have yet another Cameron-penned pooch saga with A Dog’s Way Home, the story of Bella, a pitbull outlawed by the city of Denver’s regulations against her breed (for real) who becomes lost in the Colorado Rockies and must find her way back to her loving master Lucas (Jonah Haver-King).

  That is basically the plot here, and I have to say the script adapted by Cameron and Cathryn Michon does no favors for the human actors, who are all stuck with basically one-dimensional roles compared to the Meryl Streep-level acting turned in by the pooch playing Bella — a soulful-eyed and very sweet pitbull who is the definition of love and loyalty, but in peril because of the evil animal control officer determined to follow Denver’s archaic laws about keeping these dogs locked up to the letter.

  He certainly knows how to work with animals, and he gets wonderful work from them which is all that matters in a movie like this — especially this one, which suffers from a hackneyed script and voice-over dialogue in the head of Bella that is acted by Bryce Dallas Howard.

  The film does have an accomplished cast of human actors including Ashley Judd as Lucas’ mother, Edward James Olmos as a homeless vet who chains himself to Bella in a remote area and then dies, and Wes Studi.