Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Movie Review ~ Max

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MaxMax, rated PG
** ½

Max is a military dog. I thought he was a German Shepherd, but was actually a Belgian Malinois. Max has been trained since he was a pup to serve as a military dog by Kyle Wilcott (Robbie Amell). Max would serve the Marines in Afghanistan by going ahead of them at Kyle’s direction to search out weapons and bombs.

When Kyle is killed in an attack, Max is sent home. He is suffering from the loss of Kyle and PTSD; he’s considered unfit for duty and is going to be put down. The Wilcott family – military veteran father Robbie (Thomas Haden Church), mother Pamela (Lauren Graham), and younger son Justin (Josh Wiggins), who loves to ride his bike with friends and also makes money by selling illegally downloaded and copied video games, agree to take the traumatized Max in order to save his life. Justin, who is not close to his father, is told by him that he will have responsibility for the hard to handle dog, who seems to recognize that Justin is the brother of his former handler. Justin also gets help from his best friend Chuy’s (Dejon LaQuake) cousin Carmen (Mia Xitlali), who Justin immediately takes a liking to.

Tyler (Luke Kleintank), Kyle’s friend and former squad mate who survived the battle that Kyle was killed in, returns home. He tells Kyle’s family that he suffered injuries from the explosion that killed Kyle, and thus why he was sent back home. Soon he is hired by Robbie at his storage locker business. But both Kyle and Robbie have secrets. Kyle’s secret will lead to a major plotline in the film.

The film kept our interest, was entertaining and well-made. It’s a film that will appeal to a lot of young boys (there were a number in the showing we attended) and dog lovers. The film shows a family trying to stay together after the grief of losing a son and brother. The family does seem to have faith, particularly mother Pamela. The film will pull on your emotional heartstrings and contains some violence, both between people and dogs.

The film is directed by Boaz Yakin, who directed the 2000 film Remember the Titans, starring Denzel Washington. The film is dedicated to military dogs and their handlers, about 26 of each have been killed in battle in the past decade.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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