25 September 2023

Walking Out

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Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.

Director: Alex Smith & Andrew J. Smith, IFC Films, M 95 Minutes

This punishing survival story from co-directors Alex Smith and Andrew J. Smith is shot against a snowbound wilderness and once again in Montana like their previous film ‘Winter in the Blood’ revolving around a father’s relationship with his son.

On his annual visit to a snow laden part of Montana, 14 year old David (Josh Wiggins –‘Max’) is reunited with his moody father Cal (Matt Bomer –The Nice Guys’) who arranges for him to go on his first hunting trip.

As they embark on their journey Cal explains to his estranged son the similar type of trip he had with his now long-dead father Clyde (Bill Pullman –‘Trouble’), shown in flashbacks, that turned out to be a bonding experience between them.

Although it’s Cal’s intention for David to learn to initially shoot birds his real objective is for his son to experience his first kill, namely a moose, but this is distracted by a grizzly bear.

There is a dramatic turn of events when Cal is wounded by the bear and David himself is accidently shot requiring the son to adapt to the difficult situation by carrying his father on his back.

With the weather deteriorating further, David’s father must rely on his son’s strength and resilience if he is to survive the ordeal and enable both of them to reach safety some distance down the rugged mountain.

Although inspirational in parts, especially where the son is forced to carry his father on his back, the storyline is both sluggish and tedious making the movie a disappointing experience.

With only a small cast and three leading actors it is only Wiggins who provides a reasonable performance while the major shining light in ‘Walking Out’ would have to be the magnificent scenery and cinematography by Todd McMullen.

Vic’s Verdict: 2 ½ Stars

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