Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Review: Don't Let Go

Release date: August 30, 2019
Running time: 103 minutes
David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Mykelti Williamson

Don't Let Go is kind of like Frequency and Butterfly Effect rolled into one.  In it, Detective Jack Radcliff (Oyelowo) must do all he can to solve the murder of his niece Ashley (Reid).  He is helped in this seemingly impossible task by a call from the past that can affect the present.  

The premise of this film is interesting, and gives you a feeling of suspense by adding the pressure of events happening in parallel in Ashley's time having very real and unintended consequences in Jack's time.  There are some interesting ways that both Jack and Ashley communicate what is going on, and the added uncertainty of the cell phone gives pressure on Jack.  Did the call just drop or did something terrible happen?  The film has a definite style that is muted and understated, which does a good job of setting up the important images and letting the viewer ignore what isn't necessary.

However, this film has some issues that made me scratch my head.  The most noticeable is that for a detective, Jack seems to have a very poor sense of police procedure.  There are some scenes where he follows what I imagine are best practices, but other times when he touches evidence and contaminates the crime scenes that just made me cringe.  And there are some inconsistent parts with his character, like when he notices someone who is dead and simply ignores them because he is focused on his current mission.  This was especially off-putting in an early scene in the film.  The story does a good job of building up for the first time travel reveal, but unfortunately feels like it rushes to a conclusion.  I kind of wanted to have a few more time hops to really develop some of the ideas, but it seems like the filmmakers just wanted to move the film along after setting the stage.  And, in the end, the story feels kind of unsatisfying because of this.  

Don't Let Go has an interesting premise, think Frequency meets the Butterfly Effect.  It has an engaging, suspenseful story that is hampered by a rushed conclusion and internal inconsistencies.  

Rent it

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