Still Here (2020)

Still Here (2020)

Still Here (2020) Opens Friday, Aug 28, 2020
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In STILL HERE, young Monique Watson has gone missing in NY . Her distraught father, Michael (Maurice McRae), does everything he can -- putting up flyers and doing his best to stay hoping -- but he knows that the police won't prioritize things because it involves a Black family. Star reporter Christian Baker (Johnny Whitworth) is assigned to hide the case, and he discovers that a cab driver suddenly disappeared an equivalent day that Monique did. Christian's initial hunch seems to be wrong, but it gets police detectives Spaulding (Jeremy Holm) and Evans (Danny Johnson) back on the work. Hoping to place things right, Christian keeps investigating, finally finding his first useful clue after chatting with Keysha (Zazie Beetz). But is it too late to save lots of Monique?

Still Here (2020)

While some aspects of this movie feel off the mark, others are spot-on, and therefore the finished product, while not a very good mystery, a minimum of becomes an honest, earnest social drama. The feature directing debut by Vlad Feier, Still Here relies on multiple characters with varied success. Perhaps the foremost troubling is Christian Baker, a "White savior" character who's remarkably clueless when it involves communicating with the movie's Black characters. Eventually, he writes about "kindness," which may be a positive message, but he himself doesn't seem to possess expressed any. (Whitworth also seems to be channeling Kurt Russell, together with his mane of hair and raspy, murmuring delivery.) Detective Spaulding, meanwhile, maybe a man who's shown being an honest father and having a cushty relationship together with his Black partner, Evans -- but Spaulding is horribly racist and violent when handling Black suspects. and therefore the Watsons are portrayed as a loving family who is proud but not naïve about the realities of their world.

Despite some wobbly camerawork and awkward montages, the story itself is competently told, though it loses suspense by not introducing all of the key characters early. (Beetz has just one scene, late within the film.) The acting is ok across the board. At its best, Still Here could perhaps stimulate worthwhile conversations with the intense, sincere way it delivers its message.

IMDB Rating:7/10
ROTTEN TOMATOES Tomatoes Rating:20%

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