Max is a film focused on the life of a handsome Belgian Malinois, (named Max), who becomes the main star in this action and adventure film.
The film was directed and written by Boaz Yakin, an American screenwriter, producer and director. Boaz Yakin was also executive producer on the film, Max. Yakin has worked on a wide range of films, he directed Remember the Titans (2000) and was executive producer and wrote the screenplay for Now You See Me (2013).
Yakin is able direct the film beautifully to portray an emotional relationship between Max and U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott (played by Robbie Amell), (Spoiler) who ended up dying in Afghanistan due to horrific circumstances. Max, his canine companion is traumatised to remain on duty due to having PTSD and became adopted by Kyle’s family, the Wincott’s.
At first, Kyle’s younger brother Justin (portrayed by Josh Wiggins), is hesitant to look after and care for Max but after a while, the young human and dog share a special bond and inseparable companionship.
Max’s performance throughout the film is the key element, which brings attention to the importance of him, throughout the narrative of the film. The character of Max was portrayed by a wide range of five different puppies. However, one of the hounds, called Carlos, represented an outstanding performance and achieved the lead role. In regards to Carlos playing Max, Yazin stated that – “Without the right dog at the center, the whole movie just falls apart. Fortunately, Carlos has pure star quality.” Yazin, was right a different and less charismatic dog may have made this film more “Hotel for Dogs” but because of Carlos’s strong presence it worked.
Whilst this film had several key moments, one of the more significant scenes in this film that stood out was at Kyle’s funeral. In this scene, Max is unable to be pulled away from Kyle’s coffin, which made this scene particularly moving and emotive to the audience and helped to capture the strong relationship between the pair.
In addition, the film included several action sequences, featuring Justin and his friends challenging each other on their mountain bikes, and these scenes are thrilling and extremely well captured and directed. What is also enjoyable in this film is that there are some great moments of cinematography which are shot beautifully, adding to this story’s accountability.
“Max is old-fashioned and imperfect, but is still an enjoyable action-adventure that the whole family can enjoy….”
What I liked is that this movie clearly connected elements of fiction and nonfiction, with the context that dogs were used as partners in wars all over the world. This film represented very well in showing an image of the close relationships that dogs and handlers have. The movie is family friendly and has similar traits to the film, Marley and Me because both of these films clearly prove how important pet dogs are to families.
Finally, I really liked how the family is brought closer together, through the gaining of a dog, Max, who was Kyle’s best friend, before becoming Justin’s best friend and not only was there a captivating story but one could argue that Max is old-fashioned and imperfect, but is still an enjoyable action-adventure that the whole family could enjoy.
Review by Luke Penning