Friday, July 30, 2021

Ride The Eagle Review: A Wilderness Coming of Age With Jake Johnson And A Puppy

Jake Johnson	...	Leif Susan Sarandon	Susan Sarandon	...	Honey D'Arcy Carden	D'Arcy Carden	...	Audrey J.K. Simmons	J.K. Simmons	...	Carl Luis Fernandez-Gil	Luis Fernandez-Gil	...	Gorka Cleo King	Cleo King	...	Missy Eric Edelstein	Eric Edelstein	...	Officer Mike Nilson Billy Bungeroth	Billy Bungeroth	...	Hiker

Release date: July 30, 2021
Running time: 90 minutes
Directed By: Trent O’Donnell
Written By: Trent O’Donnell and Jake Johnson
Starring: Jake Johnson (“New Girl,” Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse), who also stars alongside Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Juno) and D'Arcy Carden

When Leif’s (Jake Johnson) estranged mother Honey (Susan Sarandon) dies she leaves him a ‘conditional inheritance’. Before he can move into her picturesque Yosemite cabin, he has to complete her elaborate, and sometimes dubious, to-do list. Leif and Nora, his canine BFF, step into Honey’s wild world as she tries to make amends from beyond the grave in this hilarious and heartfelt comedy.

Billy Bungeroth	...	co-producer Joe Hardesty	...	producer Daniel Haworth	...	co-producer Jake Johnson	...	producer Trent O'Donnell	...	producer Huey Park	...	producer Huey M. Park	...	producer Pete Williams	...	co-producer
Any movie that has both Jake Johnson and a puppy in it is fine in my book.  And that is only partly facetious.  Johnson is a very relatable, lazy stuck in a rut everyman that is a lot of fun to watch on screen.  Seeing him take on this new life and try to work through Honey’s strange requests will bring a smile to you.  And because for most of the movie it is him and the puppy, it is good that he is so likeable on screen.  The movie is mostly a Johnson solo act with rare interactions with a few others.  The strangest interactions are with his deceased mother Honey (Sarandon) who gives him a series of challenges to accomplish in order to secure his inheritance.  It is kind of like a P.S., I Love You situation, but with less extreme challenges.  They mostly have a feeling of trying to help him move on in his life and become a wilderness man, and they definitely challenge him.  He also reconnects with an old girlfriend (Carden) and interacts with a neighbor (Simmons), who both add some layers to his character. 

Aside from Johnson working through his own issues, there is a very fun dynamic between him and his mother, Honey.  Although they communicate through post-mortem videos, Johnson does comment on her challenges and respond to her questions.  It is a strange, but funny interaction and I love the dynamic between the two.  And seeing Johnson try to reconnect with his old girlfriend adds another wonderful layer to this.  I really liked seeing their interactions and how slow Johnson's character took it.  it also felt like a more mature relationship despite the strange circumstances; it felt like a  very modern take on relationships and not something that would come out of Hollywood.

And overall, the story is an enjoyable one.  There is funny writing and plenty of comedic touches that will have you smiling and rooting for Johnson.  The challenges don't get too far out there, but they are plenty fun to watch and Johnson's reactions to them all are enjoyable. There is also a thriller type aspect to the film that feels bolted on, but does add a layer of depth to the story and helps flesh out some more about Honey's life.  And overall, this is a comfort food type movie.  It is a cute, heartfelt indie that is just a joy to watch.

Ride the Eagle is a cute, heartfelt indie that takes Jake Johnson's natural charisma, adds a little ridiculousness and a puppy, and leaves you with an entertaining, heartwarming experience. 

Watch it.

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Ride The Eagle is available in theaters, digitally, and on demand on July 30, 2021.  

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