Arts + Music » Arts + Culture

Son of Rambow

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Your social place can depend on who your friends are. That insight about childhood makes the unlikely alliance in Son of Rambow plausible. Will (Bill Milner) is a shy kid raised in a household so religious he has to leave the classroom when his teacher shows something on TV. Lee (Will Poulter) is the school pariah and troublemaker, who becomes Will's god when he introduces him to action movies. The friends' enthusiasm for First Blood has Lee filming a knockoff, with Will experiencing troublemaking for the first time as his stuntman. Director Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) illustrates, sometimes through animated fantasy scenes, how movies open Will's repressed mind to a world of imagination and warfare. Son of Rambow only falls short by not expanding Will and Lee's love of movies into a consuming passion. It misses the dedication needed, and strangeness implied, in being a kid obsessed with movies in a pre-internet era. It's in the social aspects where the comedy and emotion is on point.

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