Filmhounds Magazine

All things film – In print and online

Don’t Make Me Go (Film Review)

2 min read

JOHN CHO stars in DON’T MAKE ME GO Photo: GEOFFREY SHORT © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

The film opens with the narrated line of “you're not gonna like the way this story ends but I think you're gonna like the story” from teenager Wally () and for the most part, she's right. The majority of the film is fun, breezy and full of heart. But as Wally warns us at the offset, the ending is a little shoddy.

Don't Make Me Go, is a coming-of-age film; not just for Wally, but also for her father Max (). After discovering he has a fatal tumour, he decides to take Wally on a from California to New Orleans for his 20th college reunion where he secretly hopes to reunite with Wally's mother who left many years ago.

Wally only agrees to go on the road trip when her dad finally agrees to give her driving lessons on the way. And their journey to Louisiana involves parties, karaoke, boys and even a stop at a nude beach. Director 's film is original and incredibly emotional as we watch Max try to cram all the life lessons and all the love and support for Wally that he'll miss when he's gone into one short road trip.

Don't Make Me Go features stunning performances from the two leads John Cho and Mia Isaac with Isaac delivering a powerhouse performance in her debut role. Doing an excellent job on screen alongside such an established actor as John Cho. Their chemistry sizzles on screen as they help drive the film along. The eternal bond between a father and his daughter is explored in the film and Marks balances the tones correctly to ensure for just the right mix of heart and humour. As the opening narration suggests, you are going to like the story because it's a fun family road trip movie.

Don't Make Me Go
JOHN CHO and MIA ISAAC star in DON'T MAKE ME GO Courtesy of: Video © 2022 Content Services LLC

As the film begins to reach its final destination and the road trip nears its end there is a bit of a U-turn as the emotionally manipulative comes into view. As it approaches this ending it does begin to reach a point where really there are only a few different things that could happen and ultimately, it will be everyone's personal response to the ending that will shape your overall thoughts on the film. For me, the ending didn't completely undo everything that came before it, however it undermined much of the film. But I can't say I wasn't warned when the film explicitly tells us this right at the start.

As anyone knows, for a good road trip you need a good soundtrack to match and Don't Make Me Go certainly delivers on that front. There's plenty of Bon Jovi, The Strokes and Iggy Pop along the way to keep you pummelling down the road with Max and Wally.

Don't Make Me Go is a sweet, charming film featuring stunning performances from John Cho and Mia Isaac. A delicately told story about life and family, although much like in life, the ending isn't always quite what you'd hope it to be.

Don't Make Me Go releases on on July 15th.