Max has the luxury of familiarity on its side, telling a classic boy-meets-dog tale. It even adds a bit of novelty with the military dog backstory in play. Unfortunately, these things lead to multiple clichés and ridiculous plot points that undercut some of its strengths. And while the bond between leads Justin and Max can be sweet, that too sometimes feels emotionally manipulative. Overall, Max is more bark than bite, but its numerous tropes may turn viewers off.