It's a family adventure film about a war dog, his handler, the handler's family and how they come together and triumph.
Yes, it's unapologetic in its patriotism, but is also quite human. It's not just a golly gee cutout. One feels for the characters. And these days, flag waving, small town America and good over evil are welcome.
Again, I'd rather you get the movie and watch it. There are also synopses around. Firsthand is best hand.
War dogs have a rough pivotal role, usually these days in the Middle East. It's a long history, perhaps older than history itself. Their functions have varied. In the movie, Max seeks out weapons caches.
What is significant to me is what happens when Max's handler is killed. his body is shipped home. At the funeral, Max is part of the Marine honor guard. He rushes to the coffin and drapes himself on it. Dogs know. There are instances of dogs lingering at grave. Dogs grieve.
He suffers from PTSD. He responds to his handler's teen brother.
Much of the movie show Max rehabilitating with the brother. He's troubled and on the cusp of crime. They are aided by a girl who is good with dogs. I'm glad to see she is treated as a human being and not another racial cutout as she happens to be Hispanic.
Now, what strikes me most is the insidiousness of the criminals. They deal drugs, counterfeit/hijacked software/games and guns. No particular antigun message, at least to me. Takes place in Texas btw.
They are squirrely, deceitful and two hide under the surface of respectability.
One was a comrade of Max's handler. He was trading drugs et in Afghanistan. Max did not like him. Dogs are very good judges of character. Even moreso when this moke is cashiered then comes home pretending to be an honorable wounded vet.
Another is a cop/deputy who is one of the main criminals in the gun/drug scheme.
They slimily maneuver and attempt to manipulate. Also the cop has two Rottweilers that have been perverted as killer dogs protecting the drugs/guns.
In real life I have witnessed and been sickened by similar trash. The evil done when, not only their drug dealing, but their pretended patriotism and service betrays trust.
This is a movie and all is well in the end.
Max lives with the family, the boy reforms and the girl dates him. These things can and do happen. It's just that often it's not done so neatly.
Honor, decency and morals are not outmoded. They are the crux of our Republic.
Enjoy the film and remember that