The Longest Ride


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Longest Ride
"The script stuns you with its verbal observation of regular dullness"

The old guy with the sweetest memories tells the girl with the rodeo riding boyfriend, "Love requires sacrifice." Spending over two hours with this lot does as well.

You might have thought that two weepy romances for the price of one was a bargain. Think again. They double the sugar content and you know how bad that is for you.

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Sophia (Britt Robertson) is one of those students who doesn't talk about six packs and hot dudes. She takes her studies seriously. This is North Carolina - red necks and pick up trucks. The giggly sophomore crowd she hangs with don't get it. "You're the only girl I know who wouldn't have a fling with a cowboy," her bubble-for-brains best friend says.

She's no ugly duckling and so catches the eye of Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) at the rodeo. She wants to work in the art world and he wants to be the best bull rider on the circuit.

Unlike Matthew McConaughey's character in Dallas Buyers Club Luke isn't a foul mouthed sexual predator. He admits it himself ("Call me old school") which means no kissing on the first date.

"You're pretty good on a horse," she observes.

"Well, thank you," he replies.

The script stuns you with its verbal observation of regular dullness. When they pull an old man (Alan Alda) out of a burning car you expect the plot to explore new avenues, which it does in a way, introducing the audience to the geriatric's early years with Ruth (Oona Chaplin), how wonderful she was, how boring he was, and how collecting paintings made up for not having children.

Meanwhile, Luke is injured in a fall and Sophia is given her big break in New York. How can it work between them when she is involved in a passion he doesn't understand hundreds of miles away and he won't listen to reason about retiring when he can still walk?

Love is more than sacrifice, it seems. Like politics, it ends in failure, or death. Everything is predictable, everything coated in corn syrup.

Robertson is pretty enough to cure culture ache. Eastwood is as laconic as his dad in those early Westerns, although not as charismatic. Alda is the spitting image of Bill Murray in one of his grumpy old men roles.

None of them can save the film from suffocating in an emotional vacuum.

Reviewed on: 19 Jun 2015
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The Longest Ride packshot
After an automobile crash, the lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love.
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Director: George Tillman Jr.

Writer: Craig Bolotin, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks,

Starring: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Alan Alda, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, Melissa Benoist, Lolita Davidovich, Elea Oberon, Kate Forbes, Tiago Riani, Danny Vinson, Hayley Lovitt, Tracey Bonner, Jaret Sears, Hunter Burke

Year: 2015

Runtime: 139 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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