My Review: Max

Photo: Chris White
As you probably know, I'm a big proponent of the N.C. Film industry. In recent years, the N.C. General Assembly has passed legislation that has destroyed the once thriving industry in this state. You can read more about that here.

Now, onto the review.

Boaz Yakin's Max was filmed in five different locations in North Carolina: Charlotte, Asheville, Faith, Kings Mountain and Lincolnton . I finally got to see this film after hearing a lot about it and it didn't disappoint.

Max is the story of a dog named Max who helps U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. Max comes home after a traumatic experience and is adopted by the Wincott family, which comes at a time of deep sadness for the family as Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell) dies while serving with Max in Afghanistan. We learn right away that Kyle was Max's handler and the Wincotts task their younger son, Justin (Josh Wiggins), to take care of the him. It turns out that Max suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) just like some of his human counterparts and Justin is the only one who Max is comfortable around through much of the film. Max's plot takes yet another turn when a close friend of Kyle and the family has a big secret and will take all measures necessary to keep it that way - even if that means hurting the very people who have trusted him over the years.

I really liked the film and I learned from it as well. I never realized that military dogs can suffer from PTSD just like humans. Max definitely opened my eyes and it should do the same for everyone else. As far as the acting, it was good overall. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Dejon LaQuake and Mia Xitlali - who play Justin's friends Chuy and Carmen, respectively - stole the show. The only criticism I have for this film is one I've had for some others: I could clearly tell that some moments and dialogue exchanges in the film were scripted. Now, I'm not naive to filmmaking, I know there are scripts. Just about everything in a film is scripted. However, I particularly like for the actors and directors to make the film appear to have no script. At times, this film just didn't do that for me. Otherwise, Max is a wonderful film with an edge-of-your-seat kind of climax that is a must-see for the whole family.

I Give It A: B+

Check Out The Trailer Here