ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 22, 2012
Donovan’s Echo is a quaint little psychological mystery-thriller, digitally shot in Fort Langley and environs, about an elderly man seeking redemption for a tragedy-laced past. The indie flick’s heart is in the right place but, unfortunately, its arteries are seriously clogged up with syrupy sappiness.
Danny Glover plays Donovan Matheson, a retired physicist who returns to the rural house he was living in 30 years prior when his wife and young daughter were killed in a car accident. Matheson blames himself for their deaths because he was neglecting his home life at the time, being all wrapped up with trying to make scientific amends for having worked on the Manhattan Project. He feels guilty for the creation of the atomic bomb, and that’s some heavy shit to shoulder.
As he goes about his daily routine, the sad-faced fellow starts experiencing déjà vu–like premonitions that lead him to believe that the events of three decades ago are repeating themselves. He becomes obsessed with protecting neighbourhood girl Maggie (the impressive Natasha Calis) and her skeptical mother (Sonja Bennett), thinking that they’re doomed to the same fate as his own kin.
Matheson’s strange behaviour has his cop brother-in-law (Bruce Greenwood) mightily concerned, but his main response is to offer up all manner of wooden, pained expressions. The constant sight of Greenwood frowning and throwing his hands up in frustration gets old pretty fast.
Glover has one of the kindest faces in Hollywood, so it doesn’t take an Oscar-worthy performance by him to garner sympathy for his long-suffering character’s plight. But you grow a tad weary of feeling sorry for Donovan after an hour or so, and by the time the movie is over, its raging sentimentality has so fogged your mind that any memories of great entertainment echo faintly, at best.