Review: Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot
Runtime: 113 Mins Year: 2018 Certification: 15 Platform: Amazon Prime
I watched this a few days ago and it's been stuck in my head ever since. It is free on Amazon prime and I was so intrigued by just the title alone that I couldn't simply scroll past it. I decided to give it a watch without even reading the synopsis, or even watching a trailer, and this strategy totally paid off because the film, on paper, does sound rather dull;
This film is based on a true story about American cartoonist John Callahan, not to be confused with the actor of the same name. John is dependent on alcohol due to a childhood trauma which leads to him becoming a paraplegic caused by a drink driving crash. He then enters an AA treatment program to fix his mind all the while creating cartoon strips for certain newspapers.
Director Gus Van Sant, who is sticking to his usual "man over comes a disability" type film, was originally intending to shoot this project in the 90's with Robin Williams taking the lead and I spent the majority of the film wondering how much better, if at all, it would be if that was the case. Joaquin Phoenix, however, is flawless in this role and I should slap myself on the wrists for comparing his performance to what could, and possibly should, have been. Also the real Callaghan passing away in 2010 making the story, dare I say, more poignant when the viewer has that in mind.
Having said that I do believe the greatest performance here should go to Jonah Hill for his portrayal of Donnie the AA leader, a kind sensitive soul in constant battle with his own demons. Jack Black also stars and makes one particular scene the most memorable and touching in the whole movie.
At times it can appear to be rather slow but if you stick with it to the end, focusing all the way through, it most certainly pays off so turn off your phone, or leave it in another room, and fully immerse yourself into this surprisingly "feel good" emotional journey about perseverance and self forgiveness. Enjoy