Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

Film, Drama
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

Move over Harvey Pekar, there's a new misanthropic cartoonist in town.

If it’s slipped your mind that Gus Van Sant directed ‘Good Will Hunting’ and ‘Finding Forrester’, here’s a reminder that he still believes in redemption for characters who choose self-destruction over living as part of a community. Indeed, human contact ends up being the medicine that heals the tormented soul of John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix, in a role once earmarked for Robin Williams), an alcoholic who becomes a quadriplegic after a drunken car accident. He finds reluctant redemption in AA and his own personal Mr Miyagi in sponsor Donnie (an odder-than-usual Jonah Hill), finding his way out of the depths via a newly discovered flair for drawing cartoons

Van Sant doesn’t naturally go for easy sentimentality, and here he dwells enjoyably on his character’s cynicism and black humour. But Callahan’s cartoons aren’t exactly what you’d call politically correct, and it feels like a bit of a letdown to see the chewier side of his artistic expression largely unaddressed in the film’s flagging second half. Phoenix is reliably on the money, but a little more irreverence and punch wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Byline: Sergi Sánchez

Posted:

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday October 26 2018
Duration:
113 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Gus Van Sant
Screenwriter:
Gus Van Sant
Cast:
Joaquin Phoenix
Jonah Hill
Rooney Mara
Jack Black

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

This is one of those movies that really makes you stop and think - the story of John Callahan and his finding of redemption through cartoons and humour is powerful stuff. Finding humour in tragedy is ultimately the greatest challenge of being human and Gus Van Sant's script really captures the humour and the tragedy but never descends into sentimentality. Joaquin Phoenix is great as always. And Jonah Hill is wonderful as the AA mentor who challenges self-pity. A must see.