• by Wes Singleton

Don't Let Go - C+


Rated R, 107 minutes

The modestly entertaining yet muddled new supernatural thriller "Don't Let Go" is "Training Day" meets "Back to the Future." Directed and written by "Rings" writer Jacob Aaron Estes, it has a terrific cast and a decent premise, but it has the same struggles as many in this genre do, and that is pacing and coherency.

Detective Jack Radcliff ("Selma's" David Oyelowo) gets a shocking phone call two weeks into the future from his recently-murdered niece Ashley ("A Wrinkle in Time's" Storm Reid). Working together across time, they race to solve her murder before it can happen.

Oyelowo and Reid's strong performances carry the occasionally sluggish crime, time travel thriller "Don't Let Go," which has a slower-than-molasses first act that takes too long to really get moving. For a time travel thriller, Estes seems too intent on laying out a lot of irrelevant (and often confusing) exposition that doesn't entirely factor into the much-better second half of the film.

Mykelti Williamson (yes, of "Forrest Gump" fame), Alfred Molina and Brian Tyree Henry round out the talented supporting cast, though it's Oyelowo and Reid who hold most of the attention here. Their most poignant scene together when Estes finally decides (in the film's last 20 minutes) to let his protagonists in on what we've known all along: that Oyelowo is time traveling to save Reid from being murdered.

"Don't Let Go" is in need of more touching moments like that to help ease the confusion of its plot, which don't often make sense, but then when does time travel ever make sense, just ask Marty McFly. "Don't Let Go" isn't an entire waste, though: there's a handful of entertainingly intense, bloody scenes that'll keep you wondering just how many times Oyelowo's character gets shot, by who, and how he can keep running.

"Don't Let Go" is a serviceable time travel thriller that could've easily been called "Don't Think Too Much" for the many elements and characters it doesn't fully explore, but Oyelowo and Reid nearly make it worth your time. 

#dontletgo #davidoyelowo #stormreid #jacobaaronestes

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