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Michael (Avery Ash) and Curtis (Douglas Sullivan) on the run.

Duncan.de.Young/e One

2 out of 4 stars

Written by
Rosemary House, adapted from the novel by Kevin Major
Directed by
Justin Simms
Starring
Avery Ash and Douglas Sullivan
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2014

Boys will be boys in Hold Fast, a workmanlike movie adaptation of Kevin Major's well-known Canadian young adult novel – a book compared by some critics to The Catcher in the Rye.

Certainly, 14-year-old Michael (Avery Ash) is a rough-edged adolescent protagonist: No sooner has he relocated schools after the deaths of his parents in a car accident than he's callously punching out the class bully. Michael's flight from his adopted household after this act of aggression in the company of his younger brother Curtis (Douglas Sullivan) turns Hold Fast into a road movie, and while the East Coast scenery is lovely (the film was shot in and around Gros Morne National Park) the action drags.

Director Justin Simms, whose debut Down to the Dirt was memorably bleak, aims to crowd-please here: that he mostly achieves his goal is the very definition of dubious success.

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