Let Him Go: Film Review

Let Him Go

Man of Steel stars Diane Lane and Kevin Costner reunite once again to play a couple determined to rescue their grandson in the thrilling neo-western Let Him Go.

Set in 1960s Montana, the film follows retired sheriff George Blackledge (Costner) and his wife Margaret (Lane) as they mourn their son James. A few years after his death, their daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter) marries Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), and one day, they mysteriously disappear from town with the Blackledges’ three-year-old grandson in tow. Knowing how abusive Donnie can be towards his wife and stepson, the Blackledges go on a journey to track Jimmy down and take him away from the dangerous Weboy clan, headed up by Blanche (Lesley Manville).

Let Him Go has moments of being completely thrilling, tense, and gripping, particularly during scenes in which the Blackledges are in the same room as Blanche and her boys, because you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Blanche seems nice as pie on the surface but you know she wouldn’t think twice about killing somebody over a small issue. She is not one to be messed with, but she has met her match with the steely and determined couple.

Unfortunately, not all of the film is like that. At almost two hours, Let Him Go is about half hour longer than it needs to be and if it were a bit snappier, it would have kept up that thriller feel, but it is weakened by too many flashbacks of the Blackledges with their son when he was younger. I understand that Thomas Bezucha used this device to make the movie more poignant but these slow dramatic moments distract from the main event. And one other random criticism – I found some scenes too dark. Yes, this happens in scenes set at night but we need to be able to see what’s going on. I found this very bizarre and frustrating.

Manville is the star of the show here, without a doubt. She commanded my attention from the opening shot of her character – I just didn’t expect her to look like that – and she held it every time she was on screen. She just exudes power, danger, and you cannot relax when she’s in the room. Lane and Costner do just fine as the stoic couple wanting to do right by their grandson but Manville has the showier part. I also really liked Carter as Lorna, I thought she was just lovely.

Let Him Go really excels in certain tense moments so it’s just a shame it didn’t sustain that for the whole running time.

In cinemas from Friday 18th December

Rating: 3 out of 5.