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‘Ride the Eagle’ review: Turning over a new leaf

Animals need wigs, not names.

Ride the Eagle is a movie about coming together. The story follows a man named Leif (Jake Johnson) who is left an inheritance after his mother Honey (Susan Sarandon) passes away. The catch is he must complete her elaborate and often strange to do list before he can receive it. The plot may sound like wacky hijinks and an attempt to get a beautiful cabin, but the main purpose is something more.

It is established early that Honey abandoned Leif to join a cult. In order to teach her son important life lessons, Honey has left her son a VHS tape. It is at this point Ride the Eagle opens up. Though their interactions are through a televised screen, there is great chemistry between Sarandon and Johnson. Some of the best moments of Ride the Eagle are between the two. 

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This is important since much of the film depends on the relationship between the two. Things can become predictable and cheesy at times, but Ride the Eagle never becomes tedious thanks to Johnson and Sarandon. Since production was during Covid-19, there are few scenes where multiple characters share the screen. This does not impact Ride the Eagle negatively. Using phone calls and text messages, the film still manages to convey great emotion. Many films have had to work around the pandemic, but few have done such a good job. (Leif’s four legged companion Nora is also a great on screen companion.)

Ride the Eagle also has an interesting mystery and a cast of oddball characters audiences will enjoy. It is also an engaging story about love and forgiveness. Things can get a little melodramatic at times, but that is to be expected in a film like this. It is a heartwarming and caring story that anyone who watches will absolutely enjoy.

Ride the Eagle comes to theaters, VOD, and digital July 30


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