Ride On (2023)

Directed by
Glory fades
Reviewed by Simon on 2023-10-12

Jackie Chan plays a former stuntman who finds himself approaching his estranged daughter, cap in hand, when he needs legal representation to help stop debt collectors taking his beloved horse.

The film is essentially a tribute to Chan himself, with a fictional story that none the less refers to Chan's real-life career on multiple occasions, and perhaps alludes indirectly to his personal life.

The film's central theme is explicitly stated in a conversation between Chan and Wu Jing: "Jumping down is easy, stepping down is hard". The world has moved on and the old generation are no longer the brightest stars in the sky, but that doesn't invalidate their contributions and achievements.

Luo's reconciliation with his daughter occupies most of the running time, but their relationship tracks a complementary theme - swallowing your pride, owning your mistakes and acknowledging your vulnerabilities are all ways to grow.

Taken on its own merits it's a pretty generic film that's reasonably diverting but exceedingly sentimental, but that connection with real history adds a layer of authenticity that makes it hit a little harder than by rights it should. Whatever you might think about him now, you can't deny Jackie Chan has earned that horse.