There are times when you encounter a film that appears to have been wilfully discarded by the filmmakers. Even with a high profile cast and director a film can arrive with so little fanfare as to crave obscurity. This is a film destined to occupy the streaming wasteland, only to be discovered through chance or misfortune by some unlucky, wandering-thumbed soul. Go With Me is one such film.
Directed by Daniel Alfredson (brother of Tomas) and starring Anthony Hopkins, Ray Liotta and Hal Holbrook, Go With Me – or Blackway if you prefer – is a meandering, revenge drama that begins slowly, and yet still manages to lose any sense of pace towards its bland final act. The nominal plot revolves around Liotta’s apparently “mythical” bad-guy who, after harassing Julia Stiles’ stubborn new-girl-in-town, is pursued by Hopkins’ ageing logger out into the woods with the latter harbouring intent to exact revenge. Revenge for what exactly remains something of a mystery, even long after the film has finished, but revenge he seeks nonetheless and what follows is an elongated game of hide and seek set against some admittedly stunning scenery.
It may seem unnecessarily harsh, but Go With Me is a waste of everyone’s time, money and talent. Hopkins, who also acts as producer, looks increasingly weary through the film, as if any enthusiasm and energy is slowly being drained from him by the virtually sedentary pacing. Stiles and Liotta for their part are equally miscast and under-used, with characters who are woefully undefined and unconvincing. All three leads also struggle with lines of dialogue that are often as clichéd and clunky as you will ever hear, and this all contributes to the suspicion that the script underwent many changes, and that the film everyone signed up for is not the film that has finally been made.
The biggest problem with Go With Me, though, is that it is just so dull. Unlike Tomas’ Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which embraced it’s meditative pacing to great dramatic effect, this Alfredson Brother has struggled to insert any element of intrigue or interest. Go With Me wants to be a modern day Western; a film focussed on themes of honour, pride and revenge, classical in style and similar in many ways to True Grit or Unforgiven. Sadly, the finished film, while well-made and beautifully shot, is a tedious test of patience that belies its relatively short running time.
Blackway / Cert: 15 / Director: Daniel Alfredson / Screenplay: Joe Gangemi / Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles, Ray Liotta, Alexander Ludwig, Hal Holbrook / Release Date: 6th June