Let Him Go

I have not been to a theater for several months. I decided to go out today to see the new Kevin Costner/Diane Lane movie, Let Him Go. So I put on my best mask and headed to Cinemark.

The movie was good. I would not call it great, but it was worth the watch.

After losing their son in a horse riding accident, George (Kevin Costner) and Margaret (Diane Lane) Blackledge discovered that their daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter), who was now remarried, took their grandson and disappeared with her new husband Donnie (Will Brittain).

Worse yet, it was just after Margaret had witnessed Donnie striking both Lorna and the little boy.

The grandparents went after them, with the idea of bringing their grandson back with them.

The film does a solid job of ratcheting up the intensity of the moments. The film starts slowly, but it builds very efficiently toward the third act, which created a seriously tense situation. The pacing was well done and the initial slow build helped the feel of the seriousness of the situation.

Kevin Costner was good, but we have seen him play this kind of part many other times. However, Diane Lane was the standout of the movie. She brought a power to her performance and was easily the strongest part of the film.

Yet, there was a lack of character development among all the characters, even Costner and Lane, that kept me from completely investing in the emotional stakes that they were facing. I never felt as if I understood the characters well enough to know why they were doing something or how they may react. That led me to question a lot of the motives on display in the film.

Worst of all, the characters in the family known as the Weboy family, which included formerly Oscar nominated Lesley Manville and Jeffrey Donovan, were so one-note that they came off cartoonish much of the time and that was disappointing because I think it could have turned around these character with just a little bit of development. They are definitely menacing and anxiety-creating, but the film could have been so much more compelling with a more developed crew. The acting was certainly there.

We get almost nothing between Lorna and Donnie so we have no understanding for her plight. We can imagine what was there, but the film rarely gives us more than a surface level reason.

Because of that, the strong third act felt as if it was missing something. I was connected because I like Kevin Costner or Diane Lane instead of caring about their characters.

As I said, the third act was very tense and was filled with violence. I believe that this could have been so much more rewarding than it was. Still, there are really good performances for what we had and the third act is definitely anxiety-filled. While I wanted more, Let Him Go was a decent time.

3 stars

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