Don’t Make Me Go review: A heartfelt storyline but falls short of expectations

Don’t Make Me Go is a comedy-drama film that follows father-daughter duo Max and Wally as they embark on an unlikely road trip. The movie is now streaming on Prime Video.

Story

Max is a single father who learns that he has a bone tumour, and less than a year left to live if he does not risk a surgery with a 20% survival rate.

His daughter, Wally, is a young teenager trying to find her place in the world.

The two head on a road trip under the pretence of attending Max’s college reunion, but he takes her there with hopes of secretly reuniting her with her mother.

Don’t Make Me Go has hints of familial comedy, but is also an emotional tearjerker about family dynamics, love and the importance of memories and experiences living on.

Performances

John Cho delivers a stunning performance as Max, and all his talents shine through in the emotional portrayal of his character. From singing karaoke to getting angry and grounding his daughter, every scene of his is top-notch.

Mia Isaac’s debut performance is extremely well done as well, with an accurate portrayal of all the emotions required for each scene. Her face is very expressive, and her innate talent can be seen through her overall characterisation.

The on-screen dynamic between the two is realistic, heart-wrenching and among some of the best aspects of the movie.

The director, Hannah Marks, does a great job balancing the emotional and comedic aspects of the movie together, but the twist in the ending ruins the experience. It is too fast-paced to feel emotional and seems too unnecessary in the narrative thereby hindering the viewing experience.

Positives

Don’t Make Me Go boasts of stunning performances and engaging dynamics by the two main characters. The climax of the movie, shot in an open field, is one of the most memorable scenes in the movie due to the brilliant acting.

The movie also has great cinematography and colour schemes adopted on screen. The narrative style flows pretty smoothly due to these technical aspects.

The soundtrack is also among the best in recent times and beautifully accompanies on-screen images.

Overall, it is a cute and comforting film about familial relationships. Although it is a storyline formula that has been seen multiple times, the characterisation lends to a good watch.

Negatives

The ending plot twist feels quite unnecessary, almost like it was added just to garner an emotional reaction, which it, unfortunately, falls short on. The pace after the twist is too fast, and only creates emotions of shock rather than empathy.

The twist also leads to unresolved character growth. There are no clear emotional resolutions for both Max and Wally. The initial plot seems to get lost in a quest for achieving dramatic momentum.

Verdict

What could have been a sweet and comforting film with brilliant performances, gets a bit soured by the ending. While nothing revolutionary, it is still quite decent as a one-time watch.

Rating: 3/5


Also Read: Don’t Make Me Go ending explained: Does Max survive his surgery?