Despite an interesting sci-fi premise, this action-thriller just can't establish a strong enough connection.
All movies, but time-travel movies especially, need to include air-tight logic...the audience is just too smart and has been exposed to too much high-brow entertainment and science-fiction dealing with time-travel for anything less. You might guess where I'm going with this...
In the thriller, "Don't Let Go," Detective Jack Radcliff (David Oyelowo) is extremely tight with his niece, Ashley (Storm Reid), even though her parents (his brother, played by Brian Tyree Henry) are not very reliable. Tragedy strikes when Ashley and her parents are brutally murdered in their home, but things get really weird when Jack received a phone call from Ashley...several days after her death.
Say what? And is that considered a roaming charge? How many minutes does your plan allow for you to place calls across the time-space continuum?
Cellular plans aside, Jack tries to help his niece avoid the impending doom that faces her and her family in his past, and in her future. Jack is also dealing with some trouble of his own in the present, which could only complicate things even more in the past (Mykelti Williams and Alfred Molina also co-star).
The time-bending gimmick doesn't need to be explained for it to work, but it does need to provide its own rules...and unfortunately these rules bend and break almost instantly. Why isn't Jack sharing these phone calls from the great beyond with anyone around him? Why doesn't this likable, spirited little girl have any friends or have anyone else around her at all? Without giving away any plot points, let's just say that things don't add up.
To make matters worse, the dialogue between characters is borderline horrendous. It doesn't seem strange to Ashley, for example, that her Uncle Jack is speechless and out-of-breath on the other end of the call, or that he is asking her to do outrageous things. The villains explain their plans before executing the protagonists because, you know, that always seems to be a winning strategy.
"Don't Let Go" might have been a successful mind-bender had it cleaned up some of its own logic, and had it been a stronger overall script, especially when dealing with character interactions. That being said, for those that don't want to put too much thought into it, or don't need it to make that much sense, you might find it just mindless enough to enjoy.
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror.
Run Time: 1 hour 43 minutes.
Starring: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Mykelti Williamson, Daniel R. Lawson.
Co-written and Directed by Jacob Estes ("The Details," "Mean Creek," "The Summoning").
"Don't Let Go" is in theaters on Friday, August 30th, 2019.
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