RIDE ON – A Review by Jenn Rohm
Director–scriptwriter Larry Yang found inspiration for his new film Ride On while watching a documentary on Hong Kong stuntmen. He learned more about the challenges, and extreme circumstances these people faced for little knowledge of their doing so. This planted the seed for the story of Luo (Jackie Chan) who was once one of the greatest stuntmen and now he has fallen upon hard times. Currently, he is offering photo opportunities with his horse Red Hare. This isn’t quite making the money needed to pay off his current debt with some questionable locals. Additionally, the true ownership of Red Hare has come into question and Luo needs legal assistance. His only source to turn to is his estranged daughter Bao (Haocun Liu) and her newly licensed attorney/fiancé Mickey (Kevin Guo). We follow along to see what makes Luo who he is, how he loves, and what the future holds for him.
I found this film to be a cross between a Thank You and a Love Letter to those who have been in the stunt profession. It helps show what they have put themselves through for the viewing audience to get that “bit more” from a movie. While the envelope continues to be pushed for new experiences, technology, and experience have allowed for less risk and more safety measures to be in place. We wouldn’t have the movies we have without stunt people’s endless giving of themselves. I also appreciate that they are able to be safer while taking risks.
Fans of Jackie Chan will be pleased to see how real-life footage from prior projects has been woven into this current movie. These are outtakes and they support that even while every precaution is taken, stunt work is dangerous. The life choice of pushing the boundaries as often as possible, which may lead to a hospital visit, only to do it again once well enough. Do not worry, there is also new material. Not only due to the addition of a horse.
I do hope that those with the power to make decisions will take note of this film. I experienced emotions I have not experienced watching a Jackie Chan film before. The cast assisted in bringing the raw power of love, loss, hope, and joy to light. (Do bring a tissue or two with you.)
I truly enjoyed the time spent with this film and give it 5 stars.
Written and Directed By: Larry Yang
Cast: Jackie Chan, Haocun Liu, Kevin Guo, and introducing Red Hare
MPAA Rating: Not yet rated
Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama
Selig Rating: 5 stars
Runtime: 2 hours 6 minutes
Release Date: April 7, 2023 (China)
Trailer: Ride On Official Trailer
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well there was nothing else…
1 Star – Total waste of time.