Don’t Let Go and Don’t Give Up

The Stream: Vague explanations of what’s occurring; predictable

The Big Screen: Oyelowo as super uncle, bloody palpable intensity with great camera work

The Final Bill: Enjoyable updated and predictable butterfly effect film with solid lead acting

-S2S: Movie Review
Director: Jacob Estes
Writers: Jacob Estes (screenplay by), Jacob Estes (story by) | 1 more credit »
Stars: David OyelowoStorm ReidMykelti Williamson | See full cast & crew »
Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes
Genre: DramaHorrorMystery 
Rating: R (some blood and goriness)
Released: Aug. 2019
Platform: rent on streaming sites

Welcome back! 2020 is the worst so I decided to go back to what I missed in 2019. Don’t Let Go, was a film that intrigued me back in August, but “I just couldn’t get right”… like 2020 (shout out to Life). So this evening I decided to give it a go. David Oyelowo plays Jack Radcliff, a cop and dedicated uncle, trying to figure out the murder of his brother and niece. Storm Reid plays Radcliff’s niece, Ashley Radcliff. As we go through the events we have to figure out if he’s gone understandably crazy, he’s haunted, or the truth. Let’s see what we get.

Ok, I’ll start with I’m upset with myself that I didn’t find the time to support this movie in August and September. First, the cast is almost exclusively black and what a rarity that is. Oyelowo and Reid, worked very well together as a uncle-niece duo throughout the movie. Oyelowo’s character came across as authentic and invested. Reid’s character while annoying was also portrayed very well. Girl, learn how to ride a bike in your spare time though! The two of them made the movie what it was. And then there comes the dark horse. PAPERBOI PAPERBOI I’m all about my paper boy! FX’s Atlanta co-star, Brian Tyree Henry comes through with a small yet poignant performance. And don’t get me started on Mykelti Williamson’s typical role as police officer, talk about typecast! But he does his thing either way. But let’s move on.

Second, I enjoyed this movie even though I felt lost at times. And when I say lost, I mean a viewer will want more things explained and they just weren’t. The movie could’ve done a better job at that but I’m torn on if that would’ve improved the movie at all. At times a viewer will feel like they don’t know what’s going on but really you do, it’s left vague on purpose. In fact, the movie is unpredictably predictable in ways. It keeps you on your toes thoroughly but in the back of your mind you know you were just suspending your imagination to keep the obvious at bay. And that’s so hard to say for a storyline and concept that was original enough but still based off of a bludgeoned concept. Typically, I’d say I’m tired of Groundhog’s Day/Butterfly Effect-like movies, but this movie had enough to keep me watching. I’ll admit that the movie drug on towards the end but it did help build the intensity of the moment.

Lastly, this movie is filmed very crisply and clearly. In fact, the editing and cameras used make the movie very easy to watch. It is worth mentioning that when a movie is easy to look at, it enhances the overall appeal of the movie.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Needless to say, Don’t Let Go, was a movie meant for the theaters but is an even better streaming option. The movie isn’t perfect but Oyelowo’s passionate portrayal and the intensity of the film make this a movie worth chomping on a bowl of popcorn in theaters but a big box at home. Check it out before the theaters open up in July… HOPEFULLY!