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Film Review: Walking Out Shows How A Father And Son Survive Together

Synopsis: A teenager, David, journeys to Montana to hunt big game with his estranged father, Cal. Father and son struggle to connect, until a brutal encounter in the heart of the wilderness changes everything.

Generations of fathers and sons reunite and re-bond in the brisk, woods of Montana in Walking Out; a survival film all about the healing needed within a family. Walking Out may seem similar in premise to the release of The Mountain Between Us, another cold, survival flick, but this one does not aim for adventure or even its heightened tensions of “Will they or won’t they make it?”. Instead, Walking Out focuses on will they or won’t they bond.

Matt Bomer plays the rigid Cal, and elaborates his “acting chops” by playing a character distinct from his warmer repertoire. Bomer gives Cal a coldness and seriousness that can be confused for unsentimental if it not for the fleeting moments and kind eyes towards his son, David (Josh Wiggins). You can tell that Cal has a sincere fear that his son is not connecting to him, and for that he will play no role in making him a man the way his own father, Clyde (Bill Pullman), made him to be. Wiggins has the most growth, as a character, than any other, and proves his talent by making sure the audience knows the boy they found in the beginning of film is a man by its end. As the movie progresses, you see his demeanor and dialogue change, of which a harrowing moment of survival would do to anyone. The first half of the film feels drawn by their tense, but “open to being amended” bond. It is clear that they want to love and know each other, but Cal feels ostracized by his son thanks to the divorce with his mom and David’s new California home/ lifestyle. Cinematographically, Walking Out makes the Montana wild feel like a piece of hidden Heaven within America. As the father and son travel deeper into this gorgeous landscape, your breathe is taken away by it beauty, and, soon, its danger.

The latter portion of the film will have every viewers’ blood pressure rocketing with fear and tension. As danger rises and flashback memories flux in fade and wonder, Cal and David’s growth as father an son becomes amplified, and writers and directors Alex Smith and Andrew J. Smith create some of the best scenes to zero in on the unconditional, unlimited bond between a parent and child. This portion of the film is filled with humbling lessons on how much either party would sacrifice and fight for the other through the adrenaline of love. Walking Out Comes To Theatres On October 6.