David Oyelowo Storm Reid Mykelti Williamson Alfred Molina Brian Tyree Henry Byron Mann
Don’t let yourself go to this movie. It’s a hodgepodge of scenes going back and forth in time, which makes the action even more senseless than it would be if told in a conventional way. We get from the beginning that there is a close connection between Jack Radcliffe (Oyelowo) and his niece Ashley (Reid). There are intimations that her father, Jack’s brother (Henry), has a history of drug problems and that Jack stands in for him for Ashley. But little is provided in the way of background or character development of these or any of the characters. For instance, we know absolutely nothing about Ashley’s mother.
Instead of there being a story for us to follow, scene after scene is presented with little or no context or a sense of what went before. Early on, Jack stumbles across a triple murder of his family and their dog; but then, he gets mysterious calls on a phone he got from the murder scene, from a person who is supposed to be dead. But in the end, there is absolutely no evidence in all these scenes how the culprit comes to do what he does or how the hero exerts his effect.
David Oyelowo has done some fine work in Selma, The Butler, Queen of Katwe, and A United Kingdom—to name a few—and so why he and two other well-known actors, Brian Tyree Henry and Alfred Molina, agreed to be in this film is beyond me. His conversations with Ashley and others are a series of part-sentences that shed no light on what is going on. The script is so poorly written it is difficult to follow what little story is contained in it. Jacob Estes co-wrote (with Drew Daywalt) and directed Don’t Let Go, but it takes a far more experienced and talented writer like Christopher Nolan (Memento) to pull off time bending sequences to prevent a future event that are convincing and not simply frustrating as seen in this film.
A movie with aspirations beyond its capabilities.