Graylen Bryant Banks
About the film
Director: Brandon Camp
Producers: Jason Blum, Brandon Camp
Running Time: 1 hr 27 mins
Genre: Drama, Family, Crime
Distributed By: Netflix
Benji is a remake of the classic 1974 film of the same name. Benji is a stray dog and right from the start of the film you instantly feel a connection with him and feel sorry for him. Well, I did anyway. This is a heart-warming story of how a dog helps others. Carter, a young boy, first spots Benji when he is walking somewhere. As Carter and Benji look at each other, Carter feels sorry for him and takes him home. Carter and his sister love him and want to keep him. Initially, they try to hide him from their mother. But when she realises that Benji is there, she is none to happy and tells them they are unable to keep the dog due to financial reasons. The children had named him Benji. However, poor Benji is back on the streets.
Meanwhile, Carter and his sister Frankie go to the pawn shop to try and buy back their Father's watch whom their mother had to sell to make some cash. While they are in the pawn shop a robbery takes place. The 2 children are taken hostage and bungled into the back of a van and driven to an abandoned house. In steps Benji to the rescue.
What is clever is, at the start of the film when Carter and Benji first meet, is that Carter feeds him strawberries to gain his friendship. Whilst in the van, Carter throws strawberries out of the van so Benji can follow them to the house. This is a story of love, friendship, trust and determination from not only Carter and Frankie, but from little Benji too. This is a heart-warming story of how a dog helps people he knows he can trust.
Personally, I just loved this film. I really felt for Benji a lot during the film. He came across as such a lovely and friendly dog in the film. As an animal lover, I did feel sorry for him a lot of the time. When Benji and Carter first locked eyes at the beginning of the film, you could tell right from the start that these two were meant to be together. And when the children's mother told them they couldn't keep Benji, I felt sorry for him even more. Especially when he stood there in the rain and he kept looking back. I thought I was going to start crying, I felt so bad for him. But I didn't.
But saying that, this film has a lot going for it. I've not seen the original 1974 film, so can't compare the two. But I loved how Benji seemed to have understood that the kids weren't to blame for him being back on the street. And even so, the dog still tried to help them when they were kidnapped. I think dogs can have a huge impact one a persons life, and the children found that having Benji in their lives enriched the family. Benji had so much love to give, as did Frankie and Carter for him. If you've not seen Benji, then I would highly recommend it. It's a beautifully written film, and you will just fall in love with Benji.
Although this is classed as a family film, there may be a few scary bits in the film with the robbers, but it's not too bad really. The storyline was really well written. Benji is played by a dog named Fairfield, and I loved how well trained he is and how they get him to 'act out' his scenes during the movie. He's clearly a very clever little dog and so well behaved. It's easy to fall in love with him from the minute you set eyes on him. This is an enchanting, magical film that will melt everyone's hearts who watch it.
© 2019 Louise Powles
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 14, 2019:
Thanks for your review. Personally I do not think the remake could top the original. I fell in love with Benji in the original and I guess that is where my heart lies. About the same time the movie came out we had a Benji of our very own...his name was TJ. What a lovely pup. He died many years later and left a hole in our hearts. Angels are on the way this morning ps
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 26, 2019:
This is a favorite of mine too. My daughter and I must have watched it a million times and then my friend's children fell in love with it too. Angels are once again on the way today. ps
Dianna Mendez on April 12, 2019:
How well I remember this sweet film. I wanted a dog like Benji too. I may just borrow it from the library to watch all over again.
Nell Rose from England on February 22, 2019:
I love these sort of films, I used to watch all of them. So this is great! I think my favorite had to be fluke, he was a dog that had been reincarnated from a man, it was brilliant!
Lora Hollings on February 18, 2019:
Sounds like a wonderful film, Louise. I saw the first Benji movie and thought the little dog was so endearing but this story sounds even better than the first and you are so right, dogs can teach us so much about love and loyalty. They make a wonderful addition to any family!
FlourishAnyway from USA on February 18, 2019:
Although I’ve certainly heard of Benji, I’ve never actually seen the film. Sounds utterly delightful, Louise.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 17, 2019:
I do not remember watching this film although I'm aware that it is well loved. Thanks for the details, and now if I can find it, I will watch it, thanks to you.
Liz Westwood from UK on February 15, 2019:
I thought the title sounded vaguely familiar. Maybe I am recalling the 1974 version in the dim and distant past. Remakes are not always successful, but this one seems to have worked well.