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Don’t Make Me Go        review by Bobby Blakey


John Cho has had a diverse career like most, but has really settled into a variety of great films in the last few years including Searching and his the Netflix series Cowboy Bebop. Now he is teaming up with director Hannah Marks for the film Don’t Make Me Go co-starring Mia Isaac, but could this family road trip bring the promised personal connection or will it fail to make it to its destination?


Don’t Make Me Go follows single father Max discovers he has a terminal disease, he decides to try and cram all the years of love and support he will miss with his teenage daughter Wally into the time he has left with her. With the promise of long-awaited driving lessons, he convinces Wally to accompany him on a road trip from California to New Orleans for his 20th college reunion, where he secretly hopes to reunite her with her mother who left them long ago. A wholly original, emotional and surprising journey, Don’t Make Me Go explores the unbreakable, eternal bond between a father and daughter from both sides of the generational divide with heart and humor along for the ride.


These kinds of movies I just have to be in the mood for because it takes on real life issues and usually we want to escape that in the world of cinema. That being said it is a great movie in that regard with a lot of emotional layers and a direction that seems set in stone, but enough speed bumps along the way that keeps it from ever just being a straight forward tale. Sure there are elements that are predictable and others that might not go quite were you think thanks to some misdirection, but either direction would have been a heavy story to tell.


John Cho is one that for years it was hard for me to not see him as Harold or Sulu mostly because he was so great in the roles, but over the last few years he has been really killing it in these more mature roles. HE is excellent here bringing so many layers of love, sadness, emotion and anger to deal with both his own circumstance, but trying to find that connection with his

typical teenager daughter. Isaac is excellent as well taking on her own set of issues as a teenager and being thrust into this adult world of problems that are all too real.


There are some frustrating story elements and decision making, but here it is because it is coming from the thought process of a teenager which is all too real. This is a film dealing with a lot of heavy life issues, but also a father/daughter bonding that does exactly what it sets out to do. There is plenty of heart, pain, anger, sadness, love and everything in between right up until the ending making for a heavy at times road trip worth getting in the car for.


Check out Don’t Make Me Go streaming exclusively on Prime Video.

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