21st Sep2017

‘Never Let Go’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Angela Dixon, Nigel Whitmey, Lisa Eichhorn, Velibor Topic, Heather Peace, Rami Nasr, Sarah Perles, Samantha Bolter, Michael Xavier, Glenn Salvage, Sanita Simms, Darcie Lincoln | Written and Directed by Howard J. Ford

never-let-go-dvd

How best to describe Never Let Go? How about a movie that feels like Paul Greengrass directed Taken, with a kick-ass leading female of T2 Linda Hamilton proportions…

In truth, in my humble opinion Never Let Go is actually way better than those Taken movies. I know, I know, I liked them when they first came out as well, but this movie completely took me by surprise… In the best possible way. Ladies and Gents, Angela Bloody Dixon. This leading lady is fantastic, she grips the viewer by the balls and takes you on a thrilling, tour de force ride, leaving you wondering exactly how far would you go for your kids.

So I guess I should give the pitch:

Lisa Brennan (Dixon) is a struggling single mother, her child is to a married man who is playing silly buggers with her. Lisa is having a pretty hard time of it all so decides to take a break to herself in Morocco (I know I could think of safer places too). From the outset, in this country things seem a bit shady but this is due to some pretty fine camera work and we already know she is being medicated, so is this all just paranoia. It turns out not really because while relaxing on the beach Lisa is distracted for literally a minute by a looky looky man and **BOOM** her baby has been kidnapped. What follows is roughly 85 minutes of a mother who will do anything to get her daughter back in the harshest conditions. Add to this the local law enforcement are after her, the big bad is a massive sinister shit and the married man is a massive douche… However “she has a particular set of skills”.

Director Howard J. Ford absolutely knocks this out of the park. Using the narrow streets and alleys of Morocco, he really builds the tension, with a deeper sense of paranoia and having the viewer feel closed in and claustrophobic. The camera work screams all the best action movements from the Bourne saga. My only gripe about this, is that it could, at moments, feel slightly disjointed in the way the Run Lola Run made me feel at times, you could say this was adding to the tension of the chase but it didn’t always land with me.

Now there are two scenes in Never Let Go that sold everything for me and I don’t wanna do spoilers but I feel they deserve a quick mention. 1) Is the kidnap of the child; the erratic way this is shot (from the school of Tony Scott) and her instant reaction to chase them down and become a bad ass is visceral as hell. 2) There is a woman who try’s to help the child and pays the price for this, we get a 5 minute section of the movie where she is stumbling home and Lisa is stumbling through the desert and they end up meeting, this whole section is beautifully shot and the emotion of the two women hits you hard.

No surprises here, for me Never Let Go is a solid recommend, you could do a hell of a lot worse for your money and for something that hasn’t had a lot of play this is most definitely a rare gem of a movie.

The multi-award winning Never Let Go is available on DVD and VOD now, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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