Entertainment » Movies

Don't Worry, He Won't Get That Far On Foot

by Derek Deskins
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Oct 11, 2018
Don't Worry, He Won't Get That Far On Foot

Gus Van Sant is a filmmaker of some renown. While many more casual moviegoers may not be immediately familiar with his name, it's likely they have at least seen "Good Will Hunting." But for so long, it has felt that amongst the more cinephile-rich communities, Van Sant is not only well respected, but healthily lauded. Hell, the guy has two Oscar nominations under his belt. Nevertheless, as I have seen more of his films I have come to question whether he is deserving of this esteem. His latest, "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot" doesn't do much to argue his case.

John Callahan is an alcoholic. He spends a large chunk of his life fleeing alcohol withdrawal, drowning his sorrows in booze. But when one night of drinking ends in a horrific car crash, Callahan is left paralyzed. Still hooked on the drink and looking at a life in a wheelchair, he searches for meaning and a way to live a better life, finding the key in an odd place: Cartoons.

I spent much of the runtime of "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot" (titles of this length are the bane of a reviewer's existence) wanting to like it. At its core it is a biopic, but Van Sant plays with the very concept and turns what could have been a paint-by-numbers retelling of John Callahan's story into more of a contemplation on alcoholism and finding your inner truth. That is helped along by Joaquin Phoenix continuing to show that he may currently be the most talented working actor. At this point, I do not know for which performance Phoenix should be nominated for an Oscar this year, just that his name needs to be in the roster of nominees. Jonah Hill, admittedly in a much more understated capacity, also turns in a touching supporting performance that will hopefully quiet any remaining Hill detractors.

Despite these great performances and a differing take on the biopic milieu, the film never really gels. Much of this is due to the way in which Van Sant chooses to tell the story, hopping between time periods with so little fanfare as to be hopelessly confusing. It robs the film of much of its momentum and emotional weight. It is an artistic choice that backfires horrendously, and were it not for Phoenix and Hill, the film would be an utter waste.

The Blu-ray release doesn't boast much. The picture quality is on par, and the sound is fantastic. The special features, however, leave you wanting. There are two brief featurettes, but they are shallow and lack any real insight or substance. With Van Sant's artistic take on the material, a commentary would've been a welcomed addition. "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot" is an interesting new approach to the biopic, but despite wonderful performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill, it never amounts to anything special.

"Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot"
Blu-ray + Digital


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