Skip to main content
Loading...

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot Movie Review

Drawing On Pain

John Callahan gets us further that he probably thought possible.

Instead of being a true celebration of the life, struggles, and achievements of controversial, quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan, this new biopic from director Gus Van Sant ("Milk") uses Callahan's story as a vehicle to paint a bleak picture of alcoholism, with a faint light at the end of the tunnel.  Eschewing traditional methods, Van Sant opts for a non-linear plot that jumps constantly to different times in Callahan's life. With this style we see the beginning and the end of the story within the first few scenes. Callahan, played by Joaquin Phoenix ("You Were Never Really Here") is shown alternately telling the same story, with different emotional tones, during two different events: at an AA meeting, and while receiving a local award for his work. The rest of the film is the tale of Callahan's coming to terms with becoming paralyzed, deciding he needs to become dry, and the herculean efforts it takes from him and those around him to successfully implement those changes.

The performances are the true highlights of this film. Immediately we see a wheelchair bound Joaquin Phoenix, who almost seems to be transformed. Throughout the movie you feel anger, self-pity, pain, and eventual resolve to gain control emanating from him. In fact, the only thing he can't successfully portray in this movie is a 21 year old, which was so far from the mark that I didn't realize that was supposed to be Callahan's age at the time of his accident until further reading after seeing the movie.

The scene of Callahan's accident and the build up to it introduces Jack Black ("Jumanji") as Callahan's friend Dexter, who is with him on the day of his crippling injury. For his opening scene Van Sant might as well have told Black to play a raunchy caricature of himself for how over the top it is. This is completely at odds with his second appearance late in the film, when Callahan comes to apologize to him. The emotional tone and range of the actors in this moment is a credit to both, and a high water mark for the film as a whole.

Finally, it would be a shame to not mention Jonah Hill's ("War Dogs") turn as Donnie, Callahan's AA sponsor. Donnie appears as AA's literal-looking version of 70's Jesus and at first seems to be a rather shallow character without much to offer. However, as the story unfolds, Hill is able to masterfully reveal a hidden depth and strength that make it apparent why so many other members of their AA group have gravitated towards Donnie to be their sponsor as well.

Even with all of these great performances, what makes this movie a must watch is how it tackles the issue of alcoholism and how it completely takes over ones' life. In an episode of "The West Wing" the character Leo McGary explains his condition this way: "The problem is, I don't want a drink. I want ten drinks." Asked he wants to drink because things in his life are really that bad, his response is, "No, (it's) because I'm an alcoholic." With "Don't Worry..." Van Sant is able to give us a two hour, visual representation of that answer.

Alcoholism is something that has probably touched almost all of our lives in one way or another, but it cannot be completely understood unless you are living it yourself. Despite being so ubiquitous, this is an issue that is still taboo to speak of openly in ones' day-to-day life. "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot" makes alcoholism its centerpiece, showing how it is not just an issue of self-indulgence, but an aggressive medical and psychological condition. If for no other reason, the film is worth watching for this realization.

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Xiaomi Meets Android One

Users outside China and India aren't especially familiar with MIUI, but when you combine Xiaomi hardware with Android One the results are quite something. Check out our Mi A2 review for full details on this impressive budget smartphone.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi A2?
The inclusion of Android One makes Xiaomi phones so much more easily accessible to UK- and US users - and that's a very good thing, finally allowing those outside its main market territories a taste of what else is out there. The Mi A2 merely whets our appetite for what's coming our way when Xiaomi officially launches in the UK on 8 November.A fantastic budget phone, the Mi A2 is just £199 and easily obtainable from Amazon. It combines decent build quality with a nice display, good all-round performance and a well-specced trio of cameras. It out-specs and out-performs every other phone in our budget smartphone chart.

Apple iPhone XR Review

If you aren't sure you are ready to leave the Home button behind and embrace Face ID, think again. We'll tell you why the iPhone XR is worth the sacrifice - especially because it's just as good (if not better than) the iPhone XS. Find out more in out full review.
Should I Buy The Apple iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR brings Face ID to the masses. We’re sure people will continue to rebel against the lack of Home button, but eventually we expect them to come round and embrace the larger screen, Portrait mode (front and back), animoji and memoji.We have no doubt that this will be a popular iPhone and it deserves to be. The only question is why would anyone buy an iPhone XS when the iPhone XR is just as powerful and has a bigger screen.

Like Fan Page