Dir: Boaz Yakin. With: Thomas Haden Church, Lauren Graham, Josh Wiggins, Mia Xitlali. 111 mins. Cert: 12A
This tonally barking mash-up of Lassie and Coming Home bequeaths a military sniffer dog with canine PTSD to his fallen handler’s ingrate brother (Josh Wiggins), then watches as mutt schools sulky teen in duty and responsibility. Thomas Haden Church and Lauren Graham give stoically professional turns as the kid’s God-fearing, flag-flying, thoroughly heteronormative folks – you never catch them sniggering – and director Boaz Yakin pulls off the best (read: only) kids-on-BMXs-defeat-grown-ups-with-guns finale since 1987. Yet with every clunking homily to obedience in the script by Rambo III’s Sheldon Lettich, Max starts to feel less like wholesome family entertainment and more like some ideological project.
Max is now playing in cinemas nationwide.