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  • Entertainment

MOVIE: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018 7:00pm
MOVIE: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot
MOVIE: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot

 Paul O’Rourke 

DIRECTORS who also write, and writers who also direct, there are many who try it, but few who can pull it off. 

It’s a tricky business, much like playing the drums and singing at the same time, it looks easy enough, but is almost impossible to master. 

Gus Van Sant is an American filmmaker most famous for his directing (not writing) of Oscar nominated movies, ‘Good Will Hunting’ and ‘Milk’. 

In his latest film, ‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot’, Van Sant boldly takes the pen in one hand and the camera in the other, in an effort to juggle both challenging roles simultaneously. 

The result is far from a car crash, which incidentally features at the centre of the story, but is also far from impressive. 

Impressive is a word however, that can be used for the cast, which includes Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill and Jack Black. 

Based on a true story, Phoenix plays John Callahan, an Oregon native suffering from alcoholism, who enters rehab following a near fatal car accident that leaves him wheelchair bound. 

There he meets Jesus-like rehab organiser and part-time guru Donnie, played by Jonah Hill, who helps to turn his life around. 

It’s on the 12 steps to recovery that Callahan discovers he has a talent for drawing and black humour, something that leads him to a successful career as a cartoonist specialising in dark subject matter. 

While the acting is strong, even from difficult-to-stomach Jonah Hill, the scripting is weak and clumsy. For a start there are too many characters, most of them one dimensional, and the story jumps around in an incoherent way that leaves you confused and unsatisfied. 

The use of on screen cartoon images with voiceover is something that works well, but is only introduced near the end, and could have been much more effective if it was employed throughout. 

Overall, the movie struggles to gain traction but may be worth a look for some solid acting performances. We award it a review score of 3 slightly above average stars.

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