Must Hate Dogs would perhaps be a more fitting title for Lasse Hallström’s peculiar puppy snuff film, A Dog’s Purpose. What other explanation could there be for his decision to allow Josh Gad to gratingly narrate every last shred of affection for our canine chums from cinema-goers’ hearts? A Dog’s Purpose is a schmaltzy mash up of emotional manipulation and kitsch, as one tiny doggy soul wafts from host to host learning inane lessons about humankind and leaving a trail of corpses in its wake.
We open on a snuggly pup, nestled amongst its furry siblings, slowly acclimatising to the sights and sounds of planet earth. We flinch in recognition (and slump in resignation) as we realise that, dear god yes, that is the voice of Frozen’s Olaf trying to sell us on this cutesy, cynically family-friendly feature. But wait, the poor homeless