C. Thomas Howell, Forrie J. Smith and Jake Allyn (L-R) star in “Ride” (Photo Credit: Well go USA Entertainment).

(“Ride” trailer courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment)

“Ride” proves that repetition is not always a bad thing.

Hollywood is like any other business.

It is supply and demand.

When business owners find out that the public wants something, they keep giving it to them until the demand is gone.

The latest trend in Hollywood is the cowboy genre from television shows to film.

Unfortunately, repeating the same things can get tiresome if not done correctly.

Thankfully, “Ride” does the cowboy theme correctly, adding the gangsta element and the heartfelt family elements into the world of rodeos and bull riding.

The movie “Ride” shows how deep the family bond, and the bloodline can be.

Many times, if a parent or grandparent pursued a certain career, the child or grandchild will follow in their footsteps because that is all they know, or it is in the blood.

More importantly, loyalty should also be in the bloodline.

Family loyalty often means being there for a loved-one no matter how many times they mess up.

Family loyalty means spending one’s retirement money just to make sure that a relative gets the best medical treatment.

And family love means putting one’s life on the line to do what is right for the next generation.

It is also about forgiveness and acceptance.

All those attributes are encapsulated in the movie, “Ride.”

In “Ride,” both Peter Hawkins (Jake Allyn) and his father John (C. Thomas Howell) suffer from terrifying nightmares.

John has visions of preparing for his daughter Virginia’s funeral, while Peter has nightmares of past actions that caused the funeral of someone else.

While John has used the love for his daughter to push through the nightmares, Peter has resorted to the bottle and pills to help him suppress the guilt that he has experienced because of his past actions.

His past even landed him in jail for four years.

While locked up, he did not receive the love from his family that he would have expected.

But that does not stop him from exuding that love to the younger members of his family like Virginia and his brother Noah (Josh Plasse).

In “Ride,” Virginia has a debilitating ailment that is not responding well to the treatment that she receives at a Stephenville, Texas hospital.

As a result, doctors recommend that she receive experimental cell therapy at a medical facility in Las Colinas, Texas.

While the prospects of recovery look great for those who receive the cell treatment, the cost is a bit excessive to say the least.

Unfortunately, the medical insurance will not pay for all the treatments.

Therefore, John and his wife Monica (Annabeth Gish) must come up with $160,000 to cover the remainder of the costs.

Even a payment plan is expensive because the couple must initially come up with $40,000 to satisfy the first payment for the treatment.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and John is willing to do just about anything to help the save the life of his daughter, Virginia (Zia Carlock).

In the meantime, Peter is just trying his best to reacclimate himself to life on the outside.

He wants to get back into bull riding.

In “Ride,” Peter has dreams of making big money as a rodeo champion.

He has the talent and the drive.

But he still has an addiction.

As a result, he must deal with some unsavory characters to feed that addiction.

While most drug dealers do not front drugs to an addict because they will never get their money back, Tyler (Patrick Murney) decides to front Peter some dope in return for all his potential winnings from an upcoming rodeo.

The winning prize is $10,000.

While most normal people would use that money to help pay for their little sister’s medical expenses, addiction often does not have empathy or compassion.

But at the end of the day, even those lost to addiction have sober moments of love and devotion.

Although “Ride” is not a big-budget movie getting massive national press, success in business or life often comes down to timing.

And the time is perfect for a movie like “Ride,” not just because of the popularity of the western/cowboy drama.

But the movie comes out at the right time because many people are talking about drug addiction this week with the conviction of Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden.

Many people empathize with the Bidens because many people have relatives and friends battling addiction.

As a result, moviegoers will definitely empathize with Peter.

He is a good dude.

But his addiction often leads to him destroying all the good that he has done in life, while also destroying many good relationships.

“Ride” also shows how addiction can be hereditary, just like the love for bull riding and rodeos.

Children sometimes inherit the sins of their ancestors.

Therefore, the love and understanding that Peter receives from his father and grandfather Al (Forrie J. Smith) might be what he needs to kick his habit once and for all.

And maybe if Peter can kick drugs and alcohol, he could really kick butt in the rodeo world.

Peter’s success in rodeos might even give his sister the encouragement to keep fighting the disease that is determined to decimate her little 11-year-old body.

While “Ride,” is a deep and heartfelt movie, it might suffer from the lack of big-name actors attached to the film.

Furthermore, Al and John look too close in age to be father and son.

Visually, they look like they would be older brother and little brother.

But that’s about all that “Ride” gets wrong and that is hard to do in a movie and television market that is saturated with the cowboy theme.

“Ride” drops on June 14 in select theaters and on demand.







Todd A. Smith
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