Riley (Alexandra Shipp) and Chris (Nicholas Hamilton) are teenage lovers about to be torn apart... but not in the way you think. Riley is about to turn her back on her talent for comic-book art to follow her parents' wishes: to study law on the other side of the country in Georgetown. Chris is from the other side of the tracks - aren't they always in these films? - living in a one-parent family with his mother Lee (Bond-girl Famke Janssen). But fate is about to push them even further apart as - with an advert as to why drinking, texting and driving don't mix - Chris is killed in a car crash. Tragedy - when the feeling's gone and you can't go on! Can their love for each other reach beyond death itself, and if so, at what cost? We've been here before of course with the Demi Moore / Patrick Swayze hit "Ghost" from 1990. That was an Oscar winner (Best Supporting Actress for Whoopi Goldberg and screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin). Will "Endless" - a teen-love version - match this potential? Unfortunately, without a potter's wheel in sight, it doesn't stand a ghost of a chance. It feels like it's not for the want of trying from the five youngsters* at the heart of the action, with Eddie Ramos and Zoë Belkin playing the lover's best friends and DeRon Horton being the limbo-trapped ghost-guide equivalent to the subway dropout from "Ghost". (* I say "youngsters", but most seem to be in their late twenties!) ) All seem to invest their energy into the project. Unfortunately, with the exception of Alexandra Shipp, the energy is not matched with great acting talent. Poor Nicholas Hamilton (the bully from "It") seems to have a particularly limited range, with his resting acting expression being "gormless". None of the adult actors fair much better, and I found Famke Janssen particularly unconvincing as the grieving mother. As I said, the exception here is Alexandra Shipp, who had a supporting role in "Love, Simon" and a more centre-stage role as "Storm" in the otherwise disappointing "X-Men: Dark Phoenix". Here she remains eminently watchable, but is hog-bound by a seriously dodgy script. If you read my bob-the-movie-man blog regularly, you will know I reach for my flame-thrower at the appearance of voiceovers. And the start of this movie made me shudder with fear as a "tell, not show" approach was followed. It's a mild blessing that the script - by Andre Case and O'Neil Sharma - used this device purely as a slightly lazy way to set the scene and the voiceover didn't rear its ugly head again. However, on a broader basis, the screenplay doesn't excite with predictability being its middle name. Worse still, it contains lines of mansplaining dialogue that are absolute stinkers. Frustratingly, the story just doesn't really GO anywhere, despite the opportunities to do so. There's an absent father angle, and I was just begging for it to be RILEY that was being told to have the confrontation... but no! And there are whole sections of the movie that defy belief, with a police investigation in particular appearing completely incompetent. The result is that it adds neither drama or tension. Through my career in IT I've had the great fortune to travel to a number of small cities in Canada, and all have appealed with their consistently picturesque qualities and consistently quirky individuals! Here we have the cities of Kelowna and Vernon in British Columbia playing California, and the drone cinematography (by Frank Borin and Mark Dobrescu) displays the dramatic lake-filled scenery to the full. With so many cookie-cutter movies out there, it feels like the non-horror "Ghost" recipe (or "Heaven Can Wait" / "It's a Wonderful Life" / "A Matter of Life and Death" / delete per your preference) is well overdue for a makeover. Unfortunately, director Scott Speer's attempt just isn't good enough to fill the void. And that's a shame. (For the full graphical review, please check out bob-the-movie-man on the web or One Mann's Movies on Facebook. Thanks.)
Drama / Fantasy / Romance
Drama / Fantasy / Romance
When madly in love high school graduates Riley and Chris are separated by a tragic car accident, Riley blames herself for her boyfriend's death while Chris is stranded in limbo. Miraculously, the two find a way to connect.
December 18, 2020