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ride the eagle

★★★

director: Trent O'Donnell (the moody's)

starring: jake johnson, d'arcy carden, susan sarandon and J.k. simmons

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Leif is left with a conditional inheritance when his estranged mother Honey dies. Before he can move into her picturesque Yosemite cabin, he has to complete her elaborate, and sometimes dubious, to-do list.

From two of the creative minds behind the hit 2010’s sitcom New Girls star Jake Johnson and regular episode director Trent O’Donnell, Ride the Eagle is a gentle comedy that while lacking firm direction, is a heartfelt and endearing tale. 

 

When Leif’s (Jake Johnson) estranged mother Honey (Susan Sarandon) dies she leaves him a “conditional inheritance”. Before he can move into her picturesque Yosemite cabin, he has to complete her elaborate, and sometimes dubious, to-do list. Leif and Nora, his canine BFF, step into Honey’s wild world as she tries to make amends from beyond the grave.

 

Jake Johnson couldn’t get a more perfect role if he tried (well he did - he was the co-creator after all). Typecast as the loveable loser in nearly every role from New Girls to Jurassic World and even as a ghostly mummy in Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, Johnson has a real likability and comedic presence that is worth the admission price alone. 

 

While not quite living up to its perceived premise (if you've seen the trailer) of being a laugh out loud comedy, Ride the Eagle is instead more gentle fare. There is sometimes the sense that the film lacks a little direction, in particular a drawn out phone conversation between Leif and his old flame Audrey, but it's pulled back from the brink by the heartfelt and naturally comedic presence of Johnson. Its also a heartfelt exploration of regret and forgiveness that carries an authentic ring of honesty.

 

Ride the Eagle is a gentle comedy that while lacking firm direction, is a heartfelt and endearing tale.

★★★