By Renee’ Collins
Rating: 3 (Out of 5 Reels)
A dog that helped his trainer Kyle (Robbie Amell), a US Marine in Afghanistan, returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his family after suffering a traumatic experience (IMDB).
Highly trained dogs have been used by the military for a very long time. They help in a myriad of ways and it is good that this story is being told because everyone should know that these dogs help save soldier’s lives.
Justin (Josh Wiggins) reluctantly begins to form a bond with Max after he is returned home after a traumatic experience in Afghanistan. At first Justin acts like a spoiled teenager who shirks responsibility but soon changes his views about many things because of the situations he and Max are forced into.
This film has an overall visual smoothness with some interesting shooting angles and I realized it is probably because director, Boaz Yakin, who also made Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is at the helm. The length and preachiness of this film is what most adults might find annoying. At least half an hour could have been omitted from this nearly two hour film and it would have been much better. It is extremely patriotic and heart wrenching throughout which is to be expected. Opening near the fourth of July is poignant and purposeful.
Overall this film is entertaining and the dog, Max, adds to the action of this film in ways not usually seen. However, the length and preachiness get in the way overall. I would recommend going to a matinee screening and take the kids because they will probably enjoy it more.