Title – Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)
Director – Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting)
Cast – Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Beth Ditto, Kim Gordon, Udo Kier
Plot – The true story of famed cartoonist and quadriplegic John Callahan (Phoenix) who looked to overcome his crippling alcoholism with the help of his AA leader Donny (Hill) and his nurse Annu (Mara).
“My day’s been pretty good, until I came in here and saw all of you”
Review by Eddie on 13/03/2019
You never know what you’re going to get from Gus Van Sant, a director that is prone to delivering moving and engaging film’s but equally prone to delivering an out and out turkey.
For every Good Will Hunting or Elephant there’s a The Last Days or dare I say it Sea of Trees, as the esteemed filmmaker looks to constantly keep things fresh by looking at new approaches to telling otherwise rather simple stories.
Falling in the mediocre/disappointing bracket of his C.V, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot appears to be on paper another Van Sant effort that’s a likely awards player but despite a collection of some of the hottest property actors and a seemingly rock-solid real life story at its core, Foot is a messy exercise that fails to engage the heart.
Telling the little known but well-liked story of alcoholic quadriplegic John Callahan, whose politically incorrect cartoons and artworks made him a famous figure in America, Foot is not so much a biopic, more-so an examination of alcoholism that sees Van Sant fly between plot lines and timelines as Joaquin Phoenix brings Callahan to life.
It’s always nice to see a biopic look to do things a little differently but Van Sant fails to nail down a consistent flow to Foot as it ebbs and flows between some type of dark comedy and cautionary drama that never showcases a real beating heart, even though there are brief moments within it that show there was the emotional core within if Van Sant scratched further under the surface.
Foot is also a film that short-changes a lot of its cast outside of Phoenix.
Phoenix does a fine job bringing Callahan to life, a man filled with anger, resentment and sorrow, yet harbors a humorous soul but other lead cast members such as Hill as AA leader Donny, Black as the unfortunate Dexter, who is the cause of Callahan’s life changing injury and in particular Rooney Mara as the almost entirely pointless and utterly underused Annu barely get to make their marks.
Their short shifts in the acting department highlight Foot’s inability to make the most of what lays at its disposal, meaning Van Sant’s film is a watchable but almost entirely forgettable outing.
Final Say –
Featuring another fine turn from the always impressive Phoenix, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is an otherwise a forgettable and messy dramedy that never engages the way in which it should.
2 escaped mice out of 5