Excellent With A Surprising Twist || Review Of Don't Make Me Go (2022)


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Some movie plots are recycled such that they become predictable and the audience knows what to expect. But if anyone dares call this road trip film cliché, I'll beg to disagree, vehemently. After the trailer accidentally jumped on my screen while I was scrolling through YouTube, I knew it was a much watch.

As the movie begins, the suspense builds with a voiceover that says—

“You’re not gonna like the way this story ends, but I think you’re gonna like this story.”

A single father takes his daughter on a road trip after receiving some devastating news from his doctor—he was dying. Unbeknownst to the daughter, the trip was for her to meet her mother who abandoned her when she was a baby and hopefully make a life with her. The trip doesn't go as the father planned. Only one of them returns home. Who was it and what happened on this road trip?

As earlier noted, I will disagree forcefully with anyone who calls Don't Make Me Go (2022) a cliché because it isn't. True, the plot is similar to films like The Fault In Our Stars, My Sister's Keeper, and Now Is Good where a main character is terminally ill and the characters are faced with their mortality. Every scene is sad, everyone is weepy and the characters work on leaving a positive footprint behind. But the way Vera Herbert writes this screenplay and Hannah Marks directs this film, it sets it apart from the clichés. You'll have to see this film to believe me.

Vera Herbert takes the audience on a road trip with the two main characters, Max (played by John Cho) and Wally (played by Mia Issac), and we watch with bated breaths as the father teaches the young daughter how to live independently of him. She immerses us in the emotions surrounding this relationship and when we least expect, topples us over with a surprising twist that delivers an unforeseen ending. This twist is what sets this film apart from the clichés.

I was going to complain about this twist and wish the screenwriter didn't write it that way but on second thoughts, life is unpredictable and things don't often go the way we want them to.
No matter the choices we make, we are confronted with our humanity and frailties at unexpected moments.





Don't Make Me Go is a story of second chances, secrets, love, courage to take risks, and forgiveness. Though there's a little bit of melodramatic scenes typical of teenagers which made me roll my eyes while watching, it's not bad.

The chemistry between John Cho and Mia Isaac is effortless and believable, making them the perfect father-daughter duo in my opinion. Their laughs, hugs and jokes are just so easy and feel real. Their performances are impressive and they embody their characters so well, especially Mia Isaac. She sells the emotions of Wally superbly that you'll think it's real.

I love that Hannah Marks utilises their chemistry to the fullest, wringing out excellent acting from them. They hold the audience's attention especially in their heart-wrenching scenes. The plot and twist are well resolved in my opinion but the visuals are not too good. Some scenes are shadowy with halos and glares that make the lighting awkward. I wish they'd put in more effort into this part of the movie.

Overall, this film is worth watching.Though some viewers may not like the ending, you are warned at the beginning of the film. The acting is superb and the plot is grounded in reality. I'll give it 3.8 stars out of 5.

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Thumbnail Image, Fair Use
Other images are screenshots from the movie

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An effective review of this film, with a substantiated opinion and evaluations of several of its components, including the screenplay, direction and performances. Greetings, @kemmyb.

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