HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Before We Go
HTS Overall Score:65
Chris Evans has been one of the biggest turn around actors of the last several decades. During the 90’s and very early 2000’s he was basically just another smart Alec pretty boy, playing the role of young Superheroes and goofball comedies with little to no intelligence. Take that 2015, as Chris Evans has pretty much become one of the more respected and matured young actors in Hollywood today. Lauded for his role as “Captain America” in the self-titled series of movies, Chris has added quite the repertoire of indie and fully fledged Hollywood movies under his belt. Chris has publically declared for years that he likes sitting BEHIND the camera more than in front of it, and “Before We Go” is first attempt at actually taking care of both roles.
Nick Vaughn and Brooke Dalton don’t have the easiest of starts. In fact they start by LITERALLY bumping into each other on the New York subway system with Brooke (Alice Eve) losing her phone as she desperately tries to a catch a departing train. A train that she very obviously doesn’t catch. Nick (Chris Evans) returns her phone to Brooke and immediately sees that something is distressing the poor girl. It turns out that she’s in New York on a trip while her husband is coming home from his own trip and Brooke has some mysterious secret that she wants to remove from their home before he gets back. If she doesn’t, in her own words, my marriage is over. Doing something your average citizen wouldn’t do, Nick offers to pay for her cab ride home, only to find out that his credit cards are all declined. Switching gears and surprising Brooke once more, Nick bends over backwards to help her get back home, even if that entails jumping through a few hoops of his own and confronting an ex-girlfriend that isn’t exactly as “EX” as it would appear on the surface.
“Before We Go” is pretty much a walkabout movie. The entire film takes place over one night in New York City, taking a slice out of two people’s lives and putting those two slices together on one plate. While there is supposed to be a sense of urgency, since Brooke HAS to get home by morning to save her marriage, but there just seems to be a LACK of any true urgency in the actual film itself. Nick and Brooke stroll through Manhattan that night, engaging in a myriad of cockamamie side stories to get Brooke back home. She’s lost her purse and her phone is broken thanks to dropping it, and miraculously Nick’s cards are all at his limit and the two have to forge creative ways to get through the night including crashing a wedding and a visiting a party and confront an ex-girlfriend.
It might have worked if the characters had any chemistry whatsoever, but Nick and Brooke just DON’T feel right. I understand that they’re not meant to be romantic partners in the film, and Evans doesn’t even really go there with that little trope, but it would be nice if there was ANY friendly spark between the two of them. Both actors are wildly talented, but Chris Evans can’t seem to get the two of them to any real comfort level. Their interactions are awkward and fleetingly vapid at best. I couldn’t find it in myself to care about either of their plight, or even care about the situations they were in as neither of them seemed to care a whole bunch either. Nick’s actions go above and beyond what any normal person would do, to the extent that I’m surprised Brooke wasn’t wondering if he was a stalker or serial killer!
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some suggestive content
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=58577[/img]Shot digitally, “Before We Go” has a very solid, but not exactly impeccable looking digital image. Colors are warm and bright, with elements of the neon glow of the city lights impacting the look of the film. Black levels remain pertinent as the film is shrouded in darkness for a majority of the time, but the interior shots, complete with a honey golden glow to them, retain the best looking detail throughout the film. You can see every fiber and hair on Evan’s beard and lines and curves of every piece of clothing during the movie. Sometimes when the camera pulls back the image gets a little soft when set against the backdrop of the city, but close ups still retail ever bit of detail.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=58585[/img]Basically a core drama, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track ascribes to the same dialog ridden, front heavy mixing that is common for the genre. Dialog is always clean and intelligible, with strong focus in the center channel. Surrounds use is pretty solid, with a lot of it being the noisy hustle and bustle of downtown Manhattan as cars honk and beep at each other, or the sounds of punks kicking a tin garbage can down the street. LFE is tight and clean, but fairly restrained, only really adding much to the film as adding weight to some of the background noise. E.g. a card door slamming or the like. It’s never a wildly dynamic track, but it does everything asked of it by the sound designers quite willingly.
• A Conversation with Chris Evans
Artistically Chris Evans has a good eye for things, and luckily had the common sense to delegate the cinematography and writing to other people. The Manhattan city scape looks magnificent, with beautiful shots and great framing of the neon and steel city. I really did want to like “Before We Go” a lot more than I did due to really enjoying Chris Evan’s work lately, but the his freshman directing job just stumbled way too much out of the gate. It has some good points to it, but all in all it’s a very forgettable film. Audio and video are good, but there is a distinct lack of extras on the disc, besides only little featurette with Evans. Unless you’re really interested in Chris Evans as a director, I would probably just skip it.
Starring: Alice Eve, Chris Evans, Maria Breyman
Directed by: Chris Evans
Written by: Ronald Bass, Jen Smolka
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Studio: Anchor Bay
Runtime: 96 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
Buy Before We Go Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
More about Mike