Max (2015 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Boaz Yakin|
|Produced by||Karen Rosenfelt|
|Music by||Trevor Rabin|
|Edited by||Bill Pankow|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$44 million|
Max is a 2015 American family adventure war drama film directed by Boaz Yakin, and co-written with Sheldon Lettich. The film stars Josh Wiggins, Mia Xitlali, Dejon LaQuake, Thomas Haden Church, Robbie Amell, Lauren Graham, Luke Kleintank, and Jay Hernandez. The film was released by Warner Bros. on June 26, 2015.
Max, a Belgian Malinois Military dog used to help U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, is handled by Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell) (Marine MWD). Kyle is questioned when weapons seized by his squad go missing. Realizing his friend Tyler Harne (Luke Kleintank) is among those involved with the shady dealings, he warns Tyler that he cannot cover for him. The two then go into the battlefield with their squad, with Max on point. While advancing on a suicide bomber, Max is injured by an explosion. In the ensuing gunfight, Kyle is shot and killed.
Kyle's brother Justin (Josh Wiggins), who makes money selling illegally copied video games, their mother Pamela (Lauren Graham) and their father Ray (Thomas Haden Church) are informed of his death. After Kyle's body is brought home for burial, the other Marines notice that Max is only calm when he is around Justin, apparently sensing that he is Kyle's brother. The family adopts the dog, who would otherwise be euthanized for his disturbed behavior. Justin initially wants little to do with Max but eventually warms up to him. While meeting up with his friend Chuy (Dejon LaQuake), Justin meets Chuy's cousin Carmen (Mia Xitlali), who offers to go to his house and show him some handling tricks for Max. Little by little, Max's behavior improves around other people.
Tyler visits the Wincott's one evening, provoking an aggressive response by Max. Later, after the Fourth of July, Ray asks Tyler what really happened. Tyler implies that Max turned on Kyle and caused him to discharge his weapon on himself, leading to his death. Justin decides to investigate the matter. He receives a DVD of Kyle training Max; he later contacts a friend of Kyle, Sergeant Reyes, for help.
Later, Justin is approached by Chuy's other cousin Emilio (Joseph Julian Soria), a cartel member, who presses him over a video game bootleg. Afterwards, Justin and Max follow Emilio into the woods, where they secretly observe a meeting between cartel members and Tyler, who tries selling stolen weapons to them. The cartel's dogs sense Max and run after him. Max fights them off, severely wounding one of the dogs, while Justin runs away and leaves his bike behind. When he gets home, he finds Tyler and Stack, the cartel's dog handler, who was injured in the melee. Feigning innocence, they accuse Max of doing harm and demand his euthanization.
Max is taken by animal control officers but escapes. Meanwhile, Ray catches Tyler making a business deal with the cartel but is held hostage by Emilio. Max makes it home and leads Justin, Chuy, and Carmen into the woods to rescue Ray. Confronting the cartel, they incapacitate Emilio and the last cartel dog and rescue Ray. Tyler and Stack chase after Justin and Ray, but Stack is killed after crashing his off-road pickup truck. Tyler corners Justin at a damaged bridge, but is attacked by Max. The two are knocked over the side of the bridge; while Tyler is killed by the fall, Max survives. Afterwards, Emilio is arrested and sent to jail.
The family welcomes Max into their home. After Justin and Max visit Kyle's grave, they invite Chuy and Carmen over for dinner.
- Josh Wiggins as Justin Wincott
- Carlos as Max
- Dejon LaQuake as Chuy
- Thomas Haden Church as Raymond "Ray" Wincott
- Robbie Amell as Kyle Wincott
- Lauren Graham as Pamela Wincott
- Luke Kleintank as Tyler Harne
- Jay Hernandez as Sgt. Reyes
- Miles Mussenden as Major Miles
- Mia Xitlali as Carmen
- Owen Harn as Deputy Stack
- Joseph Julian Soria as Emilio
Release and reception
In the United States and Canada, Max opened simultaneously with the comedy Ted 2 across 2,850 theaters and was projected to earn around $10 million in its opening weekend. It earned $500,000 from its Thursday night showings and $4.3 million on its opening day (including the Thursday previews). Through its opening weekend, it grossed $12.2 million, fourth place among all films behind Jurassic World, Inside Out, and Ted 2.
Max received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 38%, based on 98 reviews, with an average rating of 4.82/10. The site's consensus reads, "Max has good intentions and tries to hearken back to classic family-friendly features, but its disjointed, manipulative plot overwhelms the efforts of its talented human and canine stars." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 47 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
A sequel, Max 2: White House Hero, was released theatrically on May 5, 2017. It was released digitally on May 9, 2017, and released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 23, 2017. However, this sequel is more lighthearted and family-friendly than the previous film.
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- MAX 2: White House Hero arrives on Digital HD May 9 and on Blu-ray and DVD May 23 from Warner Bros.