The Longest Ride: Movie Review

"The Longest Ride" presents an interesting premise where two separate love stories, several decades apart, somewhat tangle together present day to guide and inspire. Unfortunately, what sounded great on paper wasn't really executed well on the big screen. While the film presents wondrous and marvelous shots of North Carolina sights and scenery, sadly, much less can be said about its actual content.

Luke (Scott Eastwood), a World Champion bull rider, meets Sophia (Britt Robertson) an art history student. Sparks fly and they embark on a relationship despite having little in common. Driving along a country road, Luke and Sophia save the life of an elderly man (Alan Alda) who crashed his car, skidding off the road in stormy conditions. Sophia befriends Ira, a widower, as he convalesces, learning about his long marriage to Ruth, the love of his life. The film flashes back to 1940 where young Ira (Jack Huston) works in his family’s store and begins his relationship with Ruth (Oona Chaplin), an artistic Austrian immigrant. Like the contemporary couple, Ruth and Ira come from different worlds but there is an immediate attraction and they fall in love.

If there's one great thing that the "The Longest Ride" does, is its cinematography. This is simply a beautiful film to watch. The various countryside scenery are magical. The bull ride scenes are intense - capturing every nuanced move of the bull and rider working in chaotic tandem. Ironically, the film misses the mark where it matters most - emotions. The film's premise had a lot of potential. The pieces are there but the execution was lacking. While we do get how these two separate stories are connected, there's a great disparity from each one. Worse, the film's final act was a mess. Without spoiling anything, let's just say it didn't support the story's moral of love needing extreme sacrifice. Acting-wise, Britt Robertson was simply charming while her co-lead Scott Eastwood needs more work but he has great potential. Overall, "The Longest Rise" is more of a visual feast than a heartfelt one.

Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- beautifully shot, some scenes are simply astounding
- the leads had that charming factor especially Britt Robertson

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the final act was a complete waste
- the film lacks a lot of emotional oomph

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