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Joyride (15)

Cast: Olivia Colman, Charlie Reid, David Pearse, Olwen Fouere
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): Ailbhe Keogan
Director: Emer Reynolds
Release Date: 29/07/2022
Running Time: 94mins
Country: Ire
Year: 2022

Twelve-year-old Mully lacks love and affection from his con man father and yearns for a maternal presence to shape his future. In a fit of frustration, he steals his father's cash and a taxi in a bid for freedom. The plan is quickly derailed when he discovers hungover mother Joy and her baby curled up on the back seat. The two strangers quickly bond as they embark on a journey of self-discovery with Mully's father in hot pursuit.

LondonNet Film Review

Joyride (15) Film Review from LondonNet

A foul-mouthed road trip across Ireland salves deep emotional wounds in director Emer Reynolds’ old-couple caper that trades heavily in contrivance to reach a wholly predictable final destination. Energised by gorgeous on-screen chemistry between Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (sporting a lilting accent) and 14-year-old newcomer Charlie Reid, Joyride takes whimsical detours to showcase the rugged beauty of County Kerry and inflict blunt force trauma with a central message that loving families can be chosen rather than inherited by bad blood…

In arguably the best scene, Reid’s scallywag, wise beyond his years and well-versed in nappy changing from tending to young nieces, helps Colman’s nervous and reluctant mother to breastfeed successfully for the first time. The characters’ intimacy in this potentially awkward moment is conveyed with exquisite tenderness. Their duet of a TV theme tune accompanied by Tommy Tiernan’s ferry boat captain on whistle is delightful if extraneous to a ramshackle plot. Flashes of brilliance aside, screenwriter Ailbhe Keogan embraces implausibility with a ludicrous, high-speed escape from the law and a stand-off with airline staff. A joyride is supposed to be a perilous, high-speed jaunt in a stolen vehicle but director Reynolds prefers to hit the brakes than the accelerator.

Twelve-year-old Mully (Reid) collects glasses and belts out a rousing rendition of Cab Calloway’s Minnie The Moocher at a fundraising night for the cancer hospice that cared for his late mother Rita. Before last orders at The Greyhound, the kind-hearted tyke discovers that his conman father James (Lochlann O’Mearain) intends to abscond with the donations to settle spiralling debts. In a fit of anger, Mully snatches the money from his pa’s hand and leaps into the driver’s seat of a waiting taxi, unaware that hungover solicitor Joy (Colman) and her baby are slumbering in the back.

When Joy jolts back to consciousness, she forces Mully to accompany her on a haphazard road trip to Kerry Airport via the home of a best friend who will be taking care of the newborn while she is in Lanzarote. En route, Mully breaks down Joy’s emotional defences and compels the “practical and solution-oriented” solicitor to confront painful memories of her neglectful mother, who passed away nine months ago but still casts a long shadow. James gives chase, desperate to reclaim the donated cash before angry debtors break his limbs.

Joyride relies heavily on Colman and Reid to overcome deficiencies in the script with raw emotion. Both actors enrich their characters beyond the page. Supporting figures like O’Mearain’s wastrel father are minor speed bumps and it’s telling that he’s reduced to a blur in the background of a glib reckoning that assumes we will swallow a happy ending.

-Kim Hu

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JW3 Cinema

Fri 14:00; Sun 12:30 20:20; Mon 14:30 19:20; Tue/Wed 15:00 19:00; Thu 16:30 20:40

Kiln Cinema

Fri/Thu 18:00; Sat 16:00 20:40; Wed 14:00 20:00

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Sat 09:50; Wed 10:55; Thu 09:30

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Fri 14:50; Sat/Tue 14:30 17:15 (Tue); Sun 11:45; Mon 11:00 15:55; Wed 12:00 17:50

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