MOVIE REVIEW: “Let Him Go” stars Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves, Man of Steel), Diane Lane (Inside Out , Unfaithful), Kayli Carter (Private Life, Bad Education), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Maleficent), Will Britain (Kong: Skull Island, Everybody Wants Some!!), Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice [TV series], Sicario: Day of the Soldado), Connor Mackay (The Intruder, Dead of Summer [TV series]), Adam Stafford (The Flash [TV series], The InBetween [TV series]), and Ryan Bruce (The Republic of Sarah [TV series], Sinsters). It is directed by Thomas Bezucha (The Family Stone, Monte Carlo), who also wrote the screenplay.
Based on a novel, this film follows George (Costner) and Margaret Blackledge (Lane), who try to save their grandson from a crazy family that their former daughter-in-law marries into.
Let me take a quick sidebar to talk to you about Michael Giacchino’s score for “Let Him Go.” An odd way to start a review, I know, but hear me out. When I type up my analyses of cinema, I typically listen to the score of that movie simultaneously (it gets me back into the mood of the film I saw). Mr. Giacchino has been in my top three composers for a long time, but he truly wins my heart with this score. Not by the sound of it though, but rather the titles of his tracks. They are hilarious. If you go on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you get your music, look up this soundtrack to this and read the titles; it’s as if the man was bored by this project and wanted to spice up his work life.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled review.
“Let Him Go” reunites Kevin Costner and Diane Lane for a journey unlike any other. They’re grandparents who want their grandson back after their former daughter-in-law marries into another family. Why? Because the new family is made up of some lunatics named Weboys. There’s tension, action, and melodrama that ensues. My only question is, do they ever say “let him go”?
Much like the wide gamut of sub par cinema to come out of the woodwork that is 2021, I had just about zero expectations of this flick. It wasn’t really on my radar, and I was surprised to have rented it one particular night with a friend I was visiting. I saw this picture roughly a week and a half ago, so forgive me if my review is a bit… vague.
Set back in the 60s (nice touch), this is an adventure that indeed surprises, but more so if you weren’t looking for anything grand. The performances work, with the main focus pulling toward Costner and Lane, who do a terrific job and have great chemistry (much like they did in “Man of Steel”). Lane being a motherly, naive figure and Costner playing the stern, silent type make for a balanced unit. Pit them against some wild yahoo’s and you’ve got yourself a story.
The narrative takes its time, which is both good and bad when it comes to “Let Him Go.” The first act is fairly sluggish, as the set-up is more so serviceable than engaging. By the time we reach the meat of this tale (when our grandparents take the initiative to go after their grandson), that’s where things get interesting and the pace is picked up. I liked how this rolled out and was shocked at some of the choices made; the trials and perils our leads go through can be intense, and I’m thankful the trailer to this didn’t give away everything. The filmmakers knew how to raise stakes, and when to slow things down for reflection.
Of course, “Let Him Go” is a pretty beautiful film. I love the landscapes and the aesthetic, which fits right in my wheelhouse. It’s a well put together movie that, while not magnificent, gets the job done. Aside from a slow first act, some plot holes (there could’ve been more delved into about the Weboys grip on the town they live in), and some fairly silly moments, I think that this feature stands firm. It’s the kind of movie where you walk away saying “huh, that was actually not so bad.” And in a year of releases that already don’t look enticing, we could use some of those just-fine flicks to get us through. FINAL SCORE: 75%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: