Don’t Let Go Review

Don't Let Go

On paper, the concept behind a science fiction mystery thriller is always fun. However, the execution of this idea doesn’t always work. At times, the film can become too complex for its own good. Other times, a lack of direction is what kills the concept.

It’s a delicate balance. Unfortunately, it’s a balance that writer/director Jacob Estes can’t seem to find. The film suffers from a lack of focus and direction to reach the level of this fun and intriguing concept.

Don’t Let Go follows Jack, a Los Angeles cop who has a loving bond with his niece, Ashley. But, one fateful night, he discovers that his niece, brother, and sister-in-law are all tragically murdered. Thrust into depression and guilt, one phone call from his niece from the past gives Jack some hope. Maybe by figuring out the mystery, he can change the past.

Don't Let Go - David Oyelowo

If you’ve ever seen the trailer for Don’t Let Go, you got to see a trailer for a film with some really interesting concepts. Concepts where a film uses two different timelines to solve a murder. Yes, it does take inspiration from various sci-fi and thriller films—most notably Frequency.

On paper, the concept is intriguing. Sadly, the execution of the concept is clunky at best. Anytime you try to do a film where it involves any sort of time travel, you must establish rules to prevent any glaring plot holes from coming out. Unfortunately, Don’t Let Go doesn’t do any of this which means that there are a lot of glaring plot holes.

With iconic time travel film rules ingrained in our heads, there are several plot points where it doesn’t make sense. Also, common sense doesn’t apply either. So prepare to suspend your belief and just accept any of the film’s rules. At the same time, there are some pacing issues in the film too. Much of that is due to the introduction of several plot points that have little impact on the film later.

If that wasn’t enough, the storyline is predictable too. Sure, the journey to find who the killers are is compelling to watch. With each clue uncovered, you think to yourself how it’s all going to play. But outside of the two main characters only a few supporting characters are introduced. With this in mind, you can pretty much tell who is responsible for all of the murders right away. So you’re practically just trying to figure out how it gets to that point.

Don't Let Go - Storm Reid and David Oyelowo

Although the relationship between Jack and Ashley is crucial to the entire film, you don’t feel the connection between the two. To quickly get to the start of the film’s mystery, Jacob Estes expedited the building of the relationship through two scenes. When it came time for the murders, you don’t feel anything because everything is rushed.

Regardless, David Oyelowo brings a lot of emotions to his performance. He carries the film with the way he channels his pain into his quest to save his niece. Unfortunately, Storm Reid is trying a little bit too hard in her performance. Her sad emotions hit but her angry outbursts just seem out of place.

Overall, Don’t Let Go had a recipe to be an exciting science fiction thriller. Sadly, a lack of focus and choppy storyline prevents this film from flourishing. It’s a shame since the premise had so much potential.

Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

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