Lyric Movie Review: ‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ is utterly forgettable

Ty Davis

Amazon Studios, the production company for “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” has thus far had a mixed track record with the few films they’ve produced.

The studio has produced critical acclaims like “The Big Sick” and “The Salesman,” but most of the time producing films that only qualify as passable like “Gringo” and “The Lost City of Z;” “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” belongs to the later category.

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The film follows part of the life of John Callahan, a famous cartoonist who learned to draw after a 1972 car crash left him paralyzed from the diaphragm down, while also loosing key functions of his upper body. The film centers around the Callahan’s battle with alcoholism after the car crash, to dealing with his past, seeking help, and eventually discovering his talent for dark humor and art.

Callahan’s comics, which would eventually be syndicated in over 200 papers across the country, were known for their dark and often offensive humor, which received large amounts of backlash from readers. In one notable example, one of Callahan’s comic depicted a blind Black man begging for change with a sign around him reading “Please help me. I am blind and black, but not musical.”

Most of the film deals with Callahan’s alcoholism, taking an un-romantic look at the self-defeating nature of addiction. Where most depictions of alcoholism show it as a minor nuisance, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” is unafraid of showing addiction in its most unflattering, and often times embarrassing behaviors, from withdrawal outrage to crying over not being able to satiate one’s addiction.

While a focus on the real tribulations of addiction is worthy subject matter, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” has a myopic fixation on Callahan’s addiction, becoming an active detriment on the story. We see the points in Callahan’s life from addiction to seeking help, but all other aspects of his life, such as his love life and his career, are treated as secondary tangents. More time should have been dedicated to these other key details of Callahan’s life in order to give a fuller picture while adding much needed variety to the story.

Biopics often have to cover large spans of time within the time frame of the average movie. “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” covers several years of Callahan’s life, meaning the film transitions to several different points. While the film eventually settles into a chronological rhythm, the first 40 minutes bounces around between several different points of Callahan’s life. Even after that it is still difficult to tell when a segment of Callahan’s life takes place, chronological or not.

To stop being formal for a minute, I did not hate the film nor did I necessarily enjoy the film. “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” is just one of those films where every technical aspect of its construction meets modern competency, but does not excel to point of leaving any long lasting impression; I expect to completely forget about this film in a month or two.

Ty Davis can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @tydavisACW