Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
Kinda bummed out with this one considering I had so much riding on it. I sometimes cannot stand when a film has a kid character who ages and the film always has an adult version of that kid who looks completely nothing like the kid that started the film. It’s distracting but I completely understand how hard it is to get an adult that looks identical to the kid. With that out the way, I was super pumped to hear that this film was legitimately filmed for 12 years based around characters who doesn’t get replaced with a “lookalike”, it’s just unfortunate that the kid turned into one of the most dullest young adults.
I love Ethan Hawke. He was great. No complaints from the only one who feels authentic in terms of performance but other than Hawke, not a single character was believable. I don’t expect much from kid actors but when you have bad performances and also a bad script as almost nothing happens in this “coming-of-age” story, then it becomes really hard to care about the journey. There are great bonding moments between the family and it was fascinating to see the times changing in little details like the hit songs of the early 2000’s, Bush being president and technology advancements as the film progresses but those are just just little aspects that makes it watchable for me as I was also a boy growing up during those times. So there’s a sense of relatability for me within the story but nothing really happens dramatically or emotionally to keep me invested. It’s very simple and I hate to say it but kinda boring.
Although there are moments of glory and the film can be very relatable but is a nearly 3hr film about a unlikable boy who doesn’t really face any major trials in his life worth it? I’ll let you be the judge to that.