Film Review: Max – Too much bark, not enough bite.

A riveting plot, outstanding acting and a beautiful scenery is all you need in a movie to be in your weekend planner. Add a handsome Belgian Shepherd suffering from PTSD in the mix, and there you have it, your perfect popcorn movie for the weekend. Unlike the innumerable mushy canine movies we’ve watched over the years, Max packs a punch with enough suspense and drama.
The film is a refreshing attempt at diversifying the genre and offering something new to the viewers. No points for guessing that despite the respectable star cast, the dog singlehandedly steals the show. His character of a war dog suffering from PTSD following his handler’s death is shown with such subtlety that it never gets overtly melodramatic.
As far as storyline goes, Max has no shortage of characters and subplots. However, Yakin‘s production is too naive to make much of the crazy plot. Despite the dog being one of the central characters of the film, his life is hardly ever the focus. Instead we’re subjected to cliched teenage angst and rebellion, which seems unnecessary and leads the plot nowhere. But these few flaws are wonderfully covered up by the subtle emotional nuances present in the film. The bond between Max and Justin (Josh Wiggins), who is your typical next-door teenager is striking. Even his relationship with his deceased brother Kyle (Robbie Amell) has been beautifully translated on screen.
However, despite having great potential in its storyline, the climax of the movie seems something taken right off Famous Five with three kids and their dog bringing down an illegal arms trafficking network.
Why should you watch this film?
In its entirety, Max is one of those movie which people of all age groups will love. With a fair share of gut wrenching moments, Max will make you cry for him, root for him and make you a part of his journey as he goes from being a war dog to an integral part of the Wincott family. All in all, Yakin will leave you misty-eyed with his tale of youthful romance, boy-dog relationships and lots of drama with bad guys all around.
By Ekta Shetty