Starring: Josh Brolin, Montana Jordan, Danny McBride
Director: Jody Hill
Running Time: 83 mins
The Legacy Of A Whitetail Deer Hunter is an American film about a famous hunter with a popular series of hunting videos who sets out for a weekend of hunting to try to reconnect with his increasingly estranged son.
This may be a fairly simple film that doesn’t quite pack the dramatic punch or intrigue that it’s aiming for, but it does succeed with a very heartwarming atmosphere and three very strong performances throughout, making for a rather pleasant, albeit not endlessly engrossing watch.
Let’s start off with what’s best about this film, and that’s its heartwarming atmosphere. Now, that may not sound like enough to make for a genuinely enjoyable watch, but what this film does well is work with an impressively slow and measured pace throughout, mirroring the patience and serenity that life out in the woods can bring, putting you in a comfortable and pleasant mood that allows for the film’s heart to come to the fore.
As a result, the way in which we see the father-son relationship change over the course of the story is really rather nice. The story isn’t all pleasant, and it shows the ups and downs in their relationship, however there’s a strong chemistry throughout between Josh Brolin and Montana Jordan that’s furthered by realistic and convincing character development, all of which makes what would often feel like a rather cheesy premise actually work rather well, and give you that genuinely heartwarming vibe right the way through.
Another plus comes in the form of the film’s sense of humour. It’s by no means a flat-out comedy, and it’s not there to really make you laugh, but there is a sweet brand of humour right the way through that combines simple slapstick with the comedy of an awkward father-son relationship, something that both furthers the film’s heartfelt core, as well as makes for a more enjoyable watch all round.
Now, having said all that, I still don’t think that there’s enough depth and ingenuity in this film to make it a really engrossing watch. Pleasant and enjoyable it may be, and that’s good to see, but I felt that more could have been brought out of the central story, with the story of a divorced father and his increasingly estranged son packing a lot of premise for very intimate and emotional drama, but unfortunately not carried out in the end here.
On the one hand, the short runtime and light atmosphere mean that an enthralling story doesn’t feel as necessary in all truth, yet on the other, I really did feel there was more to come from this story, and that’s why it just misses the mark for me, even though it’s a pleasant watch throughout, which is why I’m giving The Legacy Of A Whitetail Deer Hunter a 7.2 overall.