Opening 13 Jun 2019
Writing credits: W. Bruce Cameron, Maya Forbes, Cathryn Michon, Wallace Wolodarsky
Principal actors: Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Kathryn Prescott, Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin
Bailey the dog lives happily on a farm with Ethan (Dennis Quaid) and Hannah (Marg Helgenberger). They are caring for their two-year-old granddaughter C.J. (C stands for Clarity), while their daughter-in-law, i.e., C.J.’s mother Gloria (Betty Gilpin), concentrates on a possible singing career. C.J.’s father, their son, had died in a car accident. Gloria, totally frustrated with her life as a young widow, takes C.J. and departs for unknown realms. Several years later C.J., now 11-years-old, finds Bailey and takes him in without asking her mother for permission to have a dog. That’s fine with Bailey, who has promised to “protect C.J. wherever she is.” Now they are friends with young Trent (Henry Lau) who also has a dog. Many more years later, grown-up C.J., (Kathryn Prescott) living on her own, finds Bailey twice again. Bailey is still protecting C.J. as she strives to become a musician, argues with boyfriend Shane, as well as her mother, and attempts to survive alone in New York City.
This film is based on the book A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron. It is a sequel to his book A Dog’s Purpose, which was filmed in 2017, where Dennis Quaid also played Ethan, although as a younger man. Here, a dog’s journey is symbolic in two ways. First Bailey, a Golden Retriever, is re-born three times to show up in the life of C.J. He reappears as a Beagle named Molly, then as a South African Mastiff named Big Dog, then as a Yorkshire Terrier named Max. Also, the “journey” could refer to Bailey, in various reincarnations, following C.J. wherever she happens to be – from the farm to the big city and back to the farm. This is a feel-good story filmed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and New York City, USA. It will definitely appeal to dog lovers, with, naturally, more than four dogs, all excellent actors, as are the humans. (Becky Tan)