Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot trailer review

Photo Credit: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot/Amazon Studios Image Acquired from
Photo Credit: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot/Amazon Studios Image Acquired from /

Joaquin Phoenix is set for a huge 2018, if his next two releases are any indication. Not only is he starring in the Cannes Film Festival favorite, You Were Never Really Here, but he’s set to team up with the legendary Gus Van Sant to star in the John Callahan biopic, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.

Though the name Gus Van Sant may not immediately ring a bell to some people, his films may be much more recognizable. Having worked on and directed beloved films such as Good Will Hunting and Milk, Van Sant has had well into two decades of experience in the world of filmmaking. Similarly, Joaquin Phoenix has had his experience in film as well, having acted in such films as SignsThe Master and Her. The excitement, therefore, remains palpable as the two industry heavyweights team up to adapt the John Callahan memoir, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.

John Callahan could best be described as something of a quirky ball of creative genius or politically incorrect douchebag, depending on where you fall on his work. He was well-known for artwork that was both simple and somewhat off-color and was a known quadriplegic for most of his life. He was someone who remained a controversial figure in his field, all the way up to his eventual death in 2010. Eight years later, the team of Gus Van Sant and Joaquin Phoenix will take his memoir and attempt to successfully adapt into a feature-length motion picture, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, whose teaser trailer has just been released to the public.

“I started drinking when I was 13′

The trailer for Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot starts off simple, but to the point, following a group of what appears to be recovering alcoholics sitting in a circle. Among the people sitting in that circle is renowned cartoonist, John Callahan (played by a somber, but still oddly charming Joaquin Phoenix), who begins to explain the nature of his alcoholism to his fellow people. The first 25 seconds of this teaser, which shows brief glimpses into the cause of his accident, his struggle with alcoholism and coping with life as a quadriplegic, paint the picture of this film being a serious dive into the history and psyche of the controversial cartoonist, going through his ups and downs in the process.

However, Gus Van Sant doesn’t seem to go down the completely heart-wrenching and depressing route with Callahan’s story, as little chunks of sweet and simple humor are shown, painting the impression of the film operating as a sad AND funny look into John Callahan. While there might be instances of dark humor sprinkled throughout (possibly as a tribute to the cartoonist’s dark sense of humor), Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot simply appears to be sweet and charming in its execution, if the trailer is indication.

“I liked it. A lot.”

Photo Credit: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot/Amazon Studios Image Acquired from
Photo Credit: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot/Amazon Studios Image Acquired from /

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot doesn’t seem to rely solely on the talents of Gus Van Sant and Joaquin Phoenix to tell this story, as the film employs the likes of Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black to round out a solid, if not slightly unusual, supporting cast. Rooney Mara, whoever her role is within the story, doesn’t get much screentime in the trailer, only shown in instances where her and John Callahan are embracing one another. Mara is an immensely talented actress and I’m personally hoping she has a lot more material than what the trailer implies.

The two names to really look out for in the supporting cast are well-known comedic actors, Jonah Hill and Jack Black. The two men have dabbled in drama before, but they are mostly known for their comedic chops rather than drama. However, comedy actors tend to deliver the most heart-wrenching performances in dramas and considering how Van Sant was able to do that with Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, it’ll be interesting to see how Black and the shaggy-looking Hill fare in this biopic. With the immense success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle still going strong as of this time, Black particularly looks set for a comeback of sorts. Let’s hope the comeback trucks on in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.

“I never stopped.”

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The situation for Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot looks rather intriguing upon looking back at the debut of the teaser trailer. Coming from a talented filmmaker such as Gus Van Sant and an all-star cast like Phoenix, Hill, Mara and Black, John Callahan’s life story looks to be a well-made and emotional biopic/character study of an interesting public figure; An accessible art film that combines audience appeal with its sweet atmosphere with a sad story of a damaged man. Van Sant’s previous ventures into drama/comedy have been met with critical and commercial success and hopefully, this adaptation of John Callahan’s memoir can emulate that success. It’s already an interesting story given the subject matter, hopefully we get an early contender for one of the best films of 2018.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot will be playing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and will be released into limited theaters on May 11, 2018.