A Dog's Journey is an emotional rollercoaster.
A Dog's Journey is an emotional rollercoaster. Supplied

MOVIE REVIEW: A Dog’s Journey is off-the-leash emotional

As A Dog's Journey is indeed a sequel to the unlikely 2017 box-office hit A Dog's Purpose, multiple Marley & Me alerts must be issued immediately.

For just like its predecessor, this is a movie where many a pooch will be passing away.

So consider yourself warned: if repeated sightings of canines carking it are sure to play on your emotional state like taking a hammer to a piano, you'd better bring along the biggest box of tissues you can get your paws on.

When it comes to draining tear ducts without fear or favour, A Dog's Journey is off the leash.

Once again, the principal source of all these sad doggy deaths and happy returns are the best-selling books of author W. Bruce Cameron (who also took a guiding hand in the script department here).

This is the continuing story of Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad), an immortal 'dog spirit' that keeps getting transferred from the body of one tail-wagging tearaway to another.

How or why this can happen is never directly addressed. Bailey himself rarely gives it any thought, as any time he has to go sleepy bye-byes means he gets to holiday in doggy heaven for some rest, recuperation and reincarnation.

All in the name of answering a higher calling, of course.

Dennis Quaid stars in A Dog's Journey.
Dennis Quaid stars in A Dog's Journey.

Whether he's a Yorkshire terrier, a Beagle or a St. Bernard, Bailey is not so much man's best friend as he is mankind's guardian angel.

This time, between reaching the next of his many tasteful expiration dates, Bailey is watching over CJ, a little girl with big dreams of making it as a singer.

CJ just happens to be the granddaughter of Bailey's all-time-fave owner, old-timey farmer Ethan Montgomery (Dennis Quaid).

These two pals get together for the one truly touching scene in the movie where, you guessed it, one of them won't be sticking around for too much longer.

It's all sweet, silly and kind of spooky as it was the first time around.

Go fetch or roll over and play dead? The choice is yours.

A DOG'S JOURNEY (PG)

Director: Gail Mancuso (feature debut)

Starring: Josh Gad (voice), Dennis Quaid, Kathryn Prescott, Betty Gilpin.

Rating: **

Return(s) of a dog-gone hero