<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Boaz Yakin. Starring Josh Wiggins, Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church, Luke Kleintank, Robbie Amell, Jay Hernandez, Mia Xitlali, Dejon LaQuake, Carlos (Max)
I love doggies so I’d obviously like this film though I was a bit apprehensive since I knew I’d be sensitive to anything-untoward happening to our four-legged friends.
We’ve heard about it recently in our Indian press: Army dogs that are put out to pasture after they finish their duty. Thankfully some animal welfare activists saved some of these brave animals and gave them a good home. In America, if the War Dogs suffer from posttraumatic stress they are simply put down. As are most other pets if they suffer from life-threatening illnesses. Perhaps if the psychotic, gun-wielding, child-killing loons in America were put down instead they’d be a safer and happier nation.
In MAX, Marine handler Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell) is killed in a battle in Afghanistan but his trusty partner Max, the bomb-sniffing dog, survives with a secret that he just barely gets away to tell. Kyle’s family take Max in since he bonds well with their younger son Justin ( Josh Wiggins), who doesn’t really want a dog and has issues with his ex-Marine father (Thomas Haden Church).
But Max knows he must help his former partner’s family no matter how they treat him.
The film does have moments that deliberately tug on your heartstrings but for the most part it stays tough and real. We know one of Kyle’s former Marine buddies (Luke Kleintank) is not exactly a ‘hero’ but director Boaz Yakin gives us an interesting twist about how this man reasons out his dastardly acts. This political comment on the arms race and sale of arms across the world is not in your face but adds a bit of interest to the film: a point to ponder.
There are several touching moments and several heart pounding ones as well. At the end the filmmakers dedicate the movie to all the dogs and their handlers who lost their lives making the field of battle safer and the map of the world freer from the scourge of weapons. Is this not a super hero film?
MAX probably made 10 per cent (if even that) of what the new Terminator: Genisys made, but it is 10,000 times more enjoyable.