Pros: golden retriever in the frame; Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried; dramatic twist Cons: Predictable moments; overkill in the final scene of “Through the Eyes of a Dog” / The Art of Racing in the Rain
Director Simon Curtis
Starring Milo Ventimiglia (Danny), Amanda Seyfried (Eve), Kevin Costner (Enzo), Kathy Baker (Trish), Gary Cole (Don), Martin Donovan (Maxwell), etc.
Студии Fox 2000 Pictures, Original Film, Shifting Gears Productions
Year of release 2019
According to the plot of the film, the main character Danny takes a puppy into his home and names him after Enzo Ferrari. The dog explores the world by sharing its owner’s passion for racing cars. Danny and Enzo go for walks and watch TV peacefully until the guy meets the girl Eva, whom he marries. Enzo has to put up with this outrageous state of affairs and get used to a new family, where, on top of everything else, a child appears. The dog shows jealousy, which quite quickly transforms into care. He accepts changes favorably and considers it his duty to experience all life’s difficulties together with his owner.
Almost the entire film is a monologue by a golden retriever voiced by Kevin Costner, whose voice we will not hear. Judging by the English-language trailer, the actor gave the dog’s thoughts a certain friendly tone, conducive to the perception of rather predictable events.
Special thanks to the creators for not trying to make a talking dog that opens its mouth in time with the pronunciation of words. We hear only a voice-over broadcasting Enzo’s flight of thoughts, so even without Kevin Costner, the dog wins sympathy from the first minutes of the film.
The four-legged hero watches people, analyzing their habits and dreams of becoming one of them. He is afraid of the plush toy, believing it to be possessed by a demon. For this reason, the beginning of the film seems very simple. However, there is a dramatic twist in the film that shows the tragic stage in Danny’s life. To some extent, the film still remains predictable, but you have time to get used to the characters, so they evoke empathy.
Most likely, even at the start of the project, director Simon Curtis (Goodbye Christopher Robin) and screenwriter Mark Bomback (The Wolverine) decided to make a family film that would appeal to almost any audience. Even viewers who hate sentiment (and there is plenty of it in the film) will have a hard time turning away from the screen, where a devoted dog supports its owner in difficult moments. This formula works well in any movie (especially with golden retrievers, which have long been favorites on film sets).
To be fair, it should be said that the film features not only the dog, but also the leading actors. Racer Dani is played by Milo Ventimiglia – for him, after participating in the series This Is Us, dramatic family stories became part of his acting career. Danny’s experiences on screen look natural, as does his friendship with his pet. But participation in races is just an imitation. During dangerous scenes with car competitions, professional racer Tanner Faust took the wheel instead of Milo. However, this is not a film where you should find fault with this.
Another leading role went to Amanda Seyfried, who has recently been invited to not the most rated films. The heroine Amanda has a plot twist in which the actress carries out her mission with dignity, without overdoing it with emotions.
Unfortunately, the film has a flaw. This is the so-called final chord “a few years later”, which spoils everything good that happened in the story before that. It would have been entirely possible to do without it, but the writers decided to repeat the banal technique that ended the book The Art of Racing in the Rain. Perhaps it doesn’t look as saccharine on printed pages as it does on the big screen.
The Story of Enzo the Dog became the third film in a year in which a voiceover voices the immediate thoughts of dogs (previously, A Dog’s Way Home and A Dog’s Journey were released). Such paintings will always find their audience. Therefore, no matter how sentimental The Art of Racing in the Rain is filled, the most important thing about it is a kind dog that you can look at endlessly. If you love dogs, of course.
a simple family film with a good message that will appeal to dog lovers