Film Review: A Dog’s Way Home

A Dog’s Way Home
Directed by Charles Martin Smith
Screenplay by W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon
Based upon the book A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron
Movie Official Website

Synopsis: A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heartwarming adventure of Bella, a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human.

Before I go into discussing A Dog’s Way Home… No, I have not read the novel. I haven’t read any of W. Bruce Cameron’s work. Nor have I watched A Dog’s Purpose. Now that’s all cleared up, let’s talk about the movie A Dog’s Way Home.

A Dog’s Way Home isn’t a movie I would pay to watch in theaters. I was lucky to attend a screening courtesy of the Sony Open golf tournament. After watching the movie, I’d still say it’s not a movie I’d pay to watch in theaters. (I don’t know how much movies cost in your area, but it’s very expensive where I live.) A Dog’s Way Home is, however, a movie I’d highly recommend watching via your favorite movie streaming method, such as Netflix, once available. It as absolutely heartwarming and the perfect movie if you want to laugh and cry over the span of approximately 1.75 hours.

The story follows the journey of Bella, a dog, that is simply trying to make her way back home to her person. Along the way, she meets new friends and encounters some life-endangering situations.

I feel like A Dog’s Way Home was trying to portray a message in some shape or form. One of the messages was probably about the ambiguity of animal laws in some cities and states. Honestly, I do believe the animal control issue was a bit over dramatic. I don’t know of any situation that would call for so many police officers as back up to impound a dog that was not violent towards anyone. The other message possibly had to do with veterans issues since this film featured veterans from all walks of life.

Regardless of its potential overarching message, I thought it had a solid plot. I enjoyed going along with Bella on her journey. I smiled and laughed. I also teared up at some moments. For the most part, I think the audience that was with me in the theater reacted in a way that sympathized and connected with Bella.

I did think it was kind of odd that Bella was the only animal that spoke. When Bella interacted with other animals, she basically told us what they were thinking. It was a tad jarring for me. For example, after a day hanging out with a group of dogs, Bella said that one of them wanted her to go home with her. I think the other dog’s intent could have been relayed to the audience in a more showing manner than telling even if you didn’t want to employ a voice actor for that animal. However, perhaps it was only jarring to me.

My final verdict is that A Dog’s Way Home is simply a feel-good movie. It’s great for dog lovers and anyone just wanting to watch something heartwarming. Like I said earlier, I’d personally not pay to watch it in theaters because movie ticket prices are so expensive. However, I wouldn’t discourage you from watching it in theaters if you’re a huge dog lover or really enjoyed the novel.

Have you watched or are planning to watch A Dog’s Way Home? Should I read the book? I’d love for you to share your thoughts with me in the comments!