The Remarkable Life of John Weld (2018)

Content by Tony Macklin. Originally published on March 9, 2019 @

The Remarkable Life of John Weld is conventional, not "remarkable."

It categorizes itself as a "documentary," but it's more a Lifetime Movie wannabe. It's basically reenactments by a nebulous cast of actors.

Darren Kendrick, who portrays John Weld for most of the film, is miscast. As a supposed active lover, Kendrick is more simp than stud.

The few shots of the actual John Weld make us want him on than screen instead of Kendrick. But he's not.

The film portrays Weld's adventurous life - he was stuntman, reporter, writer, and supposedly an arresting personality. But the portrayal is superficial and bland.

Today is the era of substantial, effective indie films, which makes the burgeoning field more competitive. A film such as The Remarkable Life of John Weld suffers in comparison.

The Remarkable Life of John Weld is a name-dropper. There are actors portraying James Joyce as a twerp, a fawning Luella Parsons, a negligible Clark Gabel, et al.

Although full of lackluster gossipy sequences, about the only positive element is when the film provides facts, e.g., 48 of the 87 in the Donner Party survived.

Gabe Torres directed the film. There is one professional element in it, which is the narration of accomplished Peter Coyote, but unfortunately his sonorous voice is given trite lines to narrate.

Writer Rob Lihani's screenplay is mundane. It's full of banal writing:

  • A man in his 20s "was in the catbird seat."
  • "The Count knew that was just baloney."
  • "Sorely wounded by my marriage, I was crying inside."
  • "I had no more business marrying Josephine than I had going to the moon."

The trite language is accompanied by continual sappy music by Aaron Latina.

There are also a multitude of interviews with people about the feats of John Weld - but they're not engaging.

I've always emphasized that calling something a "true story," does not make it true. What makes it true is if it is truly told.

The Remarkable Life of John Weld is not truly told.

© 2000-2019 Tony Macklin