Max  (2015)    48/100

Rating :   48/100                                                                     111 Min        12A

Preposterous little film supposed to showcase and extol the value of the bond between man and dog as Max (a Belgian Shepherd) is adopted by a rather introverted, and somewhat disconnected from his family, young kid in his early teens, Justin (Josh Wiggins). It does have some success in that regard and the central performances, including Thomas Haden Church and Mia Xitlali as justin’s father and new friend respectively, are fine but they are all completely buried under the ridiculous story that falsely moves the drama along, a plot that sees Max witness the murder of Justin’s brother by his best friend whilst on a tour of duty in the Middle East (the suggestion is that it’s murder concealed by a firefight, although it is far from clear what actually happened) – a traitorous friend who also happens to run a heavy-duty illicit arms operation, replete with corrupt police official, in Justin’s small home town which will ensnare the family who will then, of course, have to rely on Max to help save them. Features supposedly fake combat between Max and some pit bulls although it really does not look like they are play fighting, as well as the father locking Max up in an open-air metal cage in their garden, leaving him to his own devices out in the hot sun for several indeterminate periods of time with no food, water or shelter. Nice.

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