How would you react if you found out if that the guy you are driving went around killing people while you waited in the car? Ashby is a comedic retelling of any coming of age story. Not only does it touch on those themes, but it also is an “accepting of death” story as well. This film teaches us that no matter how much you want to grow up that you should enjoy living in the moment of today. On the flip side of that coin, it also spurs a notion that no matter how soon you are going to die that you should enjoy the time that you have left while trying to make the world a little better before you leave it.
The logline states:
“A gruff local seems like an interesting subject for his school study of an older person. Maybe a little too interesting.”
Now, I hate that logline. It doesn’t even make you want to watch the movie. Luckily for all you readers out there, I watch movies without even reading descriptions or watching trailers. I will randomly click on any movie and watch it.
That’s just how I roll.
Wikipedia gives a better description of the film.
“High-school Nerd Ed Wallis (Nat Wolff) enters into a friendship with his neighbor, Ashby (Mickey Rourke), a retired CIA assassin who only has a few months to live. The film is a coming of age /approaching death comedy-drama.”
The film also stars Emma Roberts as Ed’s love interest and Sarah Silverman as his mother.
Ashby has moments of dry humor and many moments of extremely gut-busting laughs. The combination of the machismo of Mickey Rourke and the bravado of Nat Wolff can only give you a big clue of how hilarity will ensue for the film. Sarah Silverman was also hilarious in every scene that she was in. She doesn’t strike me as a very motherly type of actress, but she played a nasty Mom, and that is why she was hilarious.
Beneath all of the comedy, the film’s central theme was what is it like to truly be a man. Are you a 17-year-old with a single Mom and an absent father, stuck between the role of a kid and an adult? How do you deal with that? Do you need to grow up and be a man, or do you need to focus on your youth? Or does being a man mean going out and killing 93 people for the CIA and then finding those certain people justice by killing more? Is being a man knowing how to throw and take a punch? This film explores the sides of what being a man is. Ashby a collision course between the youth and energy of “bravado” that meets the male chauvinism of “machismo.”
Despite very different situations from both characters, they each learn something from each other. Not to be a man, but to be a good man; how to be a good person. Ashby and Ed both realize that they do not need to hurry up and grow up or die, but they learn that what they do during the present is the most important. If you are always thinking about the past, you will be depressed. If you are still thinking about the future, you will have anxiety. The relationship between the two of them gets both characters to live in the “now.” If you live in the moment, you will be content and happy. How can you be a good person if you aren’t living in the moment?
This film is a great time. I hope you enjoy it.
“The Zos Knows”
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