RATING |

Here is the unequivocable winner of Best Way to Waste Time on the Internet: Watch videos of soldiers reuniting with their dogs. If you do not get weepy - well, I'll just go ahead and say it - there's something wrong with you.

Max is about a combat dog back on American soil after working in Afghanistan. When the films sticks with heart-tugging soldier stuff, it's not bad. When it goes beyond that premise, it becomes so entirely outlandish that it's not enjoyable anymore.

The titular German shepherd was under the command of Kyle (The Flash's Robbie Amell), a Texas boy who dies in combat. Max, like many a soldier returning from battle, has PTSD. He becomes the responsibility of Kyle's video-game-loving, slacker younger bro Justin (Josh Wiggins), who learns to love the dog with the help of buddies Chuy (Dejon LaQuake) and tattooed, colorful-haired Carmen (Mia Xitlali).

It's an entirely sweet family story. Wings' Thomas Haden Church and Parenthood's Lauren Graham fill the parental roles, which are broad to the point of parody (Graham's accent is as thick as Texas toast). But then, villain Tyler (Luke Kleintank), an old buddy of Kyle's, is thrown into the mix.

Feature-length movies call for a plot beyond a simple boy-and-his-dog story, but Tyler is unnecessarily evil. At one point, he blames Kyle's death on Max - as if the dog is going to learn English for the express purpose of diming him out for past improprieties.

Every once in a while, Max returns to that sweet spot, the bond between boy and dog. But as soon as Max is tasked with being superdog, it's not as much fun to watch.

Alas, back to YouTube.

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