We open with four-legged friend Enzo (voiced by Kevin “3-Packs-A-Day” Costner), explaining why a dog’s tongue makes it impossible for the animal to speak. And just like that, I’m psyched at the promise of a good dog movie. We know from the outset that before it ends, Enzo will make it to that giant fireplug in the sky, so I pocket a stack of concession napkins, just in case. All goes well until doggy mommy Amanda Seyfried face-plants and the subject ricochets from tail-wagging terpsichore to inoperable brain cancer. Lassie didn’t know from malignant tumors. She’d run home, bark, and her humans would intuitively follow the Collie to the cavern in time to save the trapped miners. Cancer is to melodrama what CGI is to the MCU: a cheap, easy tool to control audience emotions used by filmmakers (in this case, director Simon Curtis and scenarist Mark Bomback) who have nothing to sell but tripe. Add to this a sub-Lifetime child custody battle, and you’re sure not to laugh, cry, or fall in love. Don’t believe me? Ask the 10-year-old I saw it with. (2019) — Scott Marks
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