Two decades ago, the earth had a pretty decent sci-fi crime thriller in the form of Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel starrer Frequency. It was reasonably original and great entertainment. In 2016 a TV series of Frequency, starring Peyton List and Riley Smith was released on Netflix, which was also reasonable entertainment.
Now in 2020, in the midst of isolation, Don’t Let Go, which can only really be described as a updated version of Frequency, using mobile phones for the signal crossover as oppose to and old radio, has been released for your viewing pleasure on probably any platform that you can hire movies on to stream.
Don’t Let Go has a near identical storyline to Frequency; a police officer, (Det. Jack Radcliffe, played here by David Oyelowo), gets the chance to save a loved one, (Ashley Radcliff, played here by Storm Reid) who was murdered, but only after the police officer in the present time, receives a call from the loved one, in the past, before she was murdered.
The film opens with scenes of Jack meeting his niece Ashley for a coffee and a milkshake at a café. The meeting is short, but it establishes the bond they have, why they have it, and that Jack loves his niece as much as any parent loves their child. Not long after this scene, Jack is in mourning after burying his niece and her family, in shock. But then he receives a call from his dead niece and after some initial confusion, starts trying to get information from her to solve her murder, and then in turn save her by telling her who to be scared of and how she can save herself
David Oyelowo, whose previous works include Red Tails, Selma and A Wrinkle in Time, is a bloody good actor. It’s undeniable; and while there’s no awards to be won here, he does another good job. Storm Reid, also from A Wrinkle in Time and notably from recent release, The Invisible Man, also does a great job. Already very experienced for a teenager, she has a very long career ahead.
In some supporting roles are veteran actors Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump), Alfred Molina (Species) and Byron Mann (Street Fighter: The Movie) and they do well, adding value to the film.
One thing Don’t Let Go does well is keep you guessing until nearly the very end. Just when you think you’ve sussed out who the villain is, you’re wrong. That was the most enjoyable aspect for me. It’s not that it’s a great mystery, or conspiracy, it’s just well written.
All in all, Don’t Let Go is a capable thriller with good performances, and a well written script from writer/director Jacob Estes, whose previous works include well regarded indie flick Mean Creek.
Don’t Let Go isn’t the type of film that sets out to break boundaries and blow minds. It’s there to entertain and that’s what it does.
It’s the sort of film you don’t regret hiring as a new release at the video shop.
Director: Jacob Estes
Cast: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Mykelti Williamson
Writer: Jacob Estes, (based on a story by Jacob Estes and Drew Daywalt)