Don’t Make Me Go, from director Hannah Marks, makes its viewers conscious from the very starting that they won’t like the place the story is heading. “You’re not going to love the way in which this story ends,” begins the movie with a voiceover from Wally (Mia Isaac), “however I believe you’re going to love this story.” It’s a daring alternative to start your screenplay (from This Is Us and Awkward. author Vera Herbert) with an acknowledgment of potential disappointment, however contemplating that Don’t Make Me Go’s success for the viewer will largely rely on how that ending performs, it’s not a horrible concept to have the viewers braced and prepared for a letdown.
Don’t Make Me Go facilities on single father Max, performed by John Cho, and his teenage daughter, Wally. Max discovers that he has a bone tumor in his cranium, that if left untreated, will most likely kill him in a yr, and the surgical procedure to restore the harm solely has a few 20% success charge. Whereas Max is apprehensive about these probably previous couple of months of life, Wally is extra targeted on her questionable budding romance with a teenage boy. Max decides to take Wally on a cross-country highway journey for Wally to lastly meet her mom, all whereas avoiding that his life is a ticking clock.
Don’t Make Me Go’s highway journey construction isn’t something new, and like so many comparable highway journey movies, the movie lives or dies by the characters throughout the automotive. Cho and Isaac have good chemistry, particularly throughout the movie’s extra emotional and resonate moments. On their very own, nevertheless, Don’t Make Me Go doesn’t have the identical power—particularly when the movie primarily focuses on Wally. This isn’t due to Isaac, however fairly, as a result of the stakes are a lot decrease for this character. Whereas the movie’s ending does add extra weight to those particular person moments, they solely are successfully highly effective in hindsight.
But in addition, Cho is giving a quiet and wonderful efficiency as Max, who has put his life on maintain in some ways. As Max and Wally go on this highway journey, Cho has silent moments the place we are able to see the fact of his state of affairs hit him, as if a reminder hits him onerous that, sure, this might be the final time he experiences any such second along with his daughter. Very like Cho’s work in Kogonada’s stunning movie Columbus, Cho is displaying how sensible and highly effective he may be in additional tranquil performances.
With out spoiling Don’t Make Me Go’s twists and divulges, it definitely looks as if Herbert’s script may need benefited from transferring up a few of these reveals between father and daughter a bit earlier, and permitting the viewers to dwell in these moments with these characters. Whereas it’s comprehensible why Max would wish to hold a few of these secrets and techniques near his chest, it is likely to be much more of a compelling story if these characters needed to reckon with these selections greater than they do. This particularly seems like a missed alternative once we see how stunning these moments may be inside Don’t Make Me Go, but how hardly ever we spend time in these moments.
And because the movie units up from the start, Don’t Make Me Go form of succeeds or fails relying on how they stroll away from the movie’s remaining minutes. On one hand, it’s a barely odd misdirection that makes use of one character as little greater than a device for an additional character’s progress. However, it will also be seen as a reminder that each day needs to be cherished. Or, some mixture of those two concepts.
However like the most effective highway journeys, Don’t Make Me Go isn’t essentially concerning the vacation spot, however as an alternative concerning the journey. Do not Make Me Go finally ends up turning into a bittersweet story about betting on your self and dwelling life to the fullest. All of the items aren’t essentially as robust as they might be, however there are sufficient stops alongside the way in which that actually work, and a implausible Cho efficiency, that make this a visit value taking.
Do not Make Me Go is now streaming on Prime Video.