Walking Out: Film Review
Cast: Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Bill Pullman
Director: The Smith Brothers
Walking Out may be a survival tale, but its sparse presentation may also leave some feeling frustration.
Josh Wiggins is David, a teen obsessed with games on his phone rather than the desire to spend time in the snowy Montana mountains with his estranged father, Cal (Bomer).
Things don't get off to a great start when Cal is late collecting his son and the bond is further strained when it becomes clear David's annual outing is more a tradition for his father than the father and son.
But Cal is determined to pass down the family gun heirloom and knowledge from his own father (Bill Pullman, barely on screen and in flashbacks only) and help his son nab his first moose.
So far, so cliched for hunting films.
But when a young bear cub attacks David and an accident befalls Cal, Walking Out becomes more a survival tale of the low-key nature.
That's the thing with this film- its commitment to low key and character mark it out from the usual fare, but also highlights some of its flaws.
Bomer and Wiggins portray the strain with ease and underlying heart of the family well, but the film's run time stretches the goodwill as far as it can go.
Beautiful mountains and backdrops add much, particularly a shot of a river bubbling through the snow-capped ice, and contribute to some wondrous visuals to cut between scenes.
Ultimately, Walking Out's commitment to a father-son bond is both its strength and its weakness. Much of the early talk signposts what lies ahead and points at the foibles of each, leaving the story feeling deflated despite the insights.
Small character pieces can be great, but Walking Out just falls short, making this trip to the chilly wilderness a bit frosty as a cinema going experience - and despite the character interplay and insights into relationships, it freezes viewers out more than it ought to.