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16 user 3 critic

Walkaway Joe (2020)

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The story of an unlikely friendship between a young boy searching for his father, and a wandering loner hiding from his past.

Director:

Tom Wright

Writer:

Michael Milillo
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Cast

Credited cast:
David Strathairn ... Joe Haley
Jeffrey Dean Morgan ... Cal McCarthy
Julian Feder ... Dallas McCarthy
Julie Ann Emery ... Gina McCarthy
David Jensen ... Merle
Susan Gallagher ... Maggie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kim Baptiste ... Sheriff
Amber Blazier Amber Blazier ... Bridesmaid / Maid of Honor
Tracy Brotherton ... Bar Patron
Chip Carriere ... Bartender
Leslie Castay ... Waitress
Challen Cates ... Sandy
Tony Demil ... T. Stokes
Andrea Frankle ... Becka
Chad Governale Chad Governale ... Baseball Parent / Coach
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Storyline

In the tradition of American classics, WALKAWAY JOE is the story of an unlikely friendship between a young boy searching for his father, and a wandering loner hiding from his past. In each other they experience the power of a second chance, and a shot at redemption. Written by Michael Milillo

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Genres:

Action | Drama

User Reviews

 
Your 'Average Joe' with a Couple of Good Cards in its Deck
8 May 2020 | by TwistedContentSee all my reviews

It's an early May morning, the sun is shining and a new Jeffrey Dean Morgan movie is peeking at me, and I say, why not. First full feature directed by veteran actor Tom Wright, written by Michael Milillo, starring David Strathairn and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the strong supportives, and with the yet unknown Julian Feder in the lead role, "Walkaway Joe", quite misleadingly labeled an "action" movie on IMDb (as of May 8th), is an on-the-road drama about fathers, sons, mistakes and legacies. And a bit about pool.

In just ten minutes we learn enough about the life of young, 14-year old Dallas McCarthy (Julian Feder), how he enjoys dominating the local bar's pool tables with his dad Cal (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and is blind to the fact that he has a playmate instead of a father, unaware of his faults and mistakes. Dallas idolizes his dad and hopes to go in his footsteps to become a back door pool player. Dallas's mother (Julie Ann Emery), the only person displaying sense, tries her best but in vain, for nor the son, nor father listens to her. At the end of these ten minutes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan abandons both the father and husband duties and also the screen, to return about half an hour later. All in all, I was under the wrong impression of him having a much bigger role. Oh, well. Dallas throws a couple things in the backpack and climbs on his bicycle to go and find the old-man at a pool tournament up in Baton Rouge, in a local joint called "Fatty's". On the way, after he understands how stupid of a decision it was to cycle cross the country, he gets picked up by none other than Joe Haley, nicely performed by acting-highlight-holding David Strathairn, whom, yeah you probably guessed it, will provide a sort of a father figure. There's more than one "Walkaway Joe" around here.

The first ever produced script by Michael Milillo offers an earnest and reflective story, but also a highly formulaic one. The philosophy, lessons and thoughts on display here as sincere and right-minded as they are old, and it all weaves together in ways so familiar and predictable. Some elements, like the danger of cash hungry the debt collectors after Cal, came off more oddly amusing than effective or menacing. A lot more menace in the faces of David and Jeffrey. Practically every plot turn can be smelled before it turns the corner, even the big, obviously incoming pool game went exactly as I thought it will. Pretty cool to watch it happening though. But, if not for the subtly amazing performances by David Strathairn and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, there wouldn't be a whole lot to get attracted to. Morgan does what he's real good at, portraying a tough guy with just enough heart to love him, and Strathairn carries the story of Joe entirely on his shoulders, offering us an authentic and content little performance. During the movies first half, I didn't know what to think of Julian Feder and his naive, hotheaded character on the road to the inevitable and unsurprising redemption. It was hard to grow to like Dallas, and the performance carrying him is not one I call great. He also didn't look 14 at all, so I was pretty shocked to find out he actually was 14 at the time of filming...

The cinematography is of the standard kind, options for realism as much as possible, nothing is neither extraordinary or over-the-top. Well shot pool scenes, though it's also possible I haven't seen enough of those. As its befitting for such an Americana tale, the soundtrack goes full country, but not to any faults.

"Walkaway Joe" is, pardon me for this, your average Joe. It's a movie with its head straight and intentions clear, has a couple of good cards in its deck, the most valuable of which being David Strathairn. A contemporary drama that's worth tagging along provided any of this raised your intrigue. Perhaps I enjoyed it more than that, but I say 5/10.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Walkaway Joe See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ohio, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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