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‘Don’t Let Go’ Review: Actually… I’d prefer to

It’s never ever a good sign when I check my phone three times to see how long a movie’s been.

Wow, what a mess of a film. To be honest I didn’t have a whole lot of hope for Don’t Let Go, it looked rather cheap and very by the numbers. And I was exactly right on the by the numbers aspect. It’s never ever a good sign when I check my phone three times to see how long it’s been running. I really hate to have to say this too because the premise could be interesting, but unfortunately it’s not because the material is so weak. I also feel really bad for the cast because they are all great actors but they just aren’t given anything of value to work with.

Speaking of the cast, I want to start out by saying the acting is the only thing stopping me from giving this a 1. I really do like Storm Reid and she gives an impressive performance here. She’s able to showcase her acting abilities better here than in last year’s A Wrinkle in Time. I just wish she’d get better films. Both this and A Wrinkle in Time are really weak. Hopefully, she has better options in the future because she has a lot of talent. David Oyelowo is very good here as well, even though a lot of the material lets him down, he does the absolute best he can. I also really loved Mykelti Williamson, he turns in a very strong performance and even though it’s supporting, he leaves his mark. To be honest all of the acting is pretty good, but unfortunately nothing else is.

David Oyelowo stars as Jack Radcliff and Storm Reid as his niece Ashely Radclif in the film “Don’t Let Go.” opening August 30th, 2019. An OTL Releasing/Blumhouse Tilt release. Credit: Lacey Terrell / Universal Pictures

The first downside here is how rushed the beginning is. They do not waste any time at all and just hit the ground running. It’s probably about five minutes in when the big event happens that catapults the plot. The negative thing about that is that we aren’t really given a lot of time to get to know these people in a meaningful way. I like for there to be a nice connection formed before we introduce all the life endangering situations. There is some chemistry between them but everything felt very rushed and almost forced.

The pacing is another downside. I got pretty bored as the film approached the halfway mark and started to wonder just where the hell we were going. It’s also just poorly written. I honestly think the pace exposed the bad writing even more. You just don’t care as the film progresses because nothing is that interesting and you don’t feel invested.

It’s also fairly by the numbers, and that might have been okay if it was least well written and kept my interest. There’s one “plot twist” that I saw coming from a mile away, I called it within the first fifteen minutes. And yes, I’ve seen a lot of films but I think this would be rather obvious to anyone. The time travel aspect isn’t even interesting which is kind of amazing since that’s the film’s main selling point. There’s absolutely no care taken to spice things up from the usual. I was hoping they’d at least explore the time travel a tad or maybe just add in a different aspect we’ve never seen before. But see here’s the thing about Don’t Let Go… it’s not at all interested in being interesting or trying something cool and new. No this film is interested in just phoning it in.

David Oyelowo as Jack Radcliffe

Don’t Let Go is the kind of film you’ll find in the bottom of a DVD bin in Walmart. It’ll be that one that hasn’t sold a single copy on the new releases shelf. But honestly, it’s on the writers because they simply wrote a lazy script. The cast is game and tries their best but the material simply isn’t there. I definitely don’t suggest going to see this and I don’t even suggest renting or streaming it later on.

Don't Let Go
Is it good?
While Don't Let Go features skilled acting, everything else is boring and just uninteresting.
Storm Reid
Mykelti Williamson
David Oyelowo
Very poorly written
Uneven pacing
By the numbers
Doesn't take advantage of the time travel aspect
3
Meh
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