Palmer follows the story of Eddie Palmer, an ex-convict that was just realized from prison after attempted murder. When Palmer returns to his childhood home, he is greeted by his grandmother Vivian. Across the street in a trailer lives Sam, a young boy, and his two unstable parents. Due to frequent outings from his parents, Sam often visits Vivian and the two become close. Although Sam and Palmer aren’t too close when they first meet, fate has other plans for this pair of protagonists. After Sam’s parents leave and the sudden death of Vivian, Palmer finds himself with unofficial custody of Sam and the two develop an unshakeable bond.
Eddie Palmer is a man who just finished serving a 12-year sentence for attempted murder so he returns to his hometown. Eddie starts the film as a quiet man who really doesn’t like to talk to anyone and seems quite melancholy at all times. As the film progresses and we see him get closer to Sam we see him open up and let his emotions come through when interacting with this little boy and this convinces him to start to open up to others as well. Sam is a little boy who is the neighbor to Palmer but due to his difficult family, he spends a lot of time with Palmer and Palmer’s grandmother Vivian. After his mother leaves and Vivian dies, Sam stays with Palmer who begins to learn about Sam and how Sam enjoys things that are traditionally liked by girls though Sam feels no shame in this and just wants to be himself.
Being my first movie from AppleTv+ I had no idea what to expect quality-wise from this film but overall, I highly enjoyed it. Firstly, I’m a sucker for a reluctant parent story as I love seeing how a child can change someone’s outlook on life and how that relationship can usually help both people. Usually, the character of the parent is not a convicted criminal but I appreciated the idea of a second chance as I believe that people deserve them just as the movie suggests. Justin Timberlake does a great job as Palmer really showing the sadness that is deep inside his character but how he has truly reformed from his time in prison. The real strength of the film is the relationship between Palmer and Sam as they aren’t similar in most ways but find a connection and love for one another. The first half of this movie is mostly set up for Palmer’s character as we see how he adjusts to being back in his hometown and how the people there react to him. This first half is a bit slow and is where the movie is not at its best as there is not really any story being told. The second half is when the movie really picks up and there are some really emotional scenes with big implications for our characters.
All in all, I thought this was a good uplifting tale about second chances and learning to care for someone that I would recommend to anyone looking for something to check out on Apple Tv.
Palmer was an emotionally charged movie, in the back half that is. This movie has almost everything: strong characters, great development, a solid plot, and nice themes. The only thing that this movie misses is the beginning. It’s a very slow beginning. Although, I do have to hand it to the movie that the beginning was all a set up for the second half of the movie where all the action and emotions are revealed. Unless you are someone who gets attached to characters easily and can handle characters doing mundane tasks for an hour, then you won’t find this beginning hard to watch. For the rest of you, this part will be hard to watch.
This movie does pick up a lot in the second half. All the buildup in the beginning comes crashing down, as the characters start pitting ideas against each other and actual plot advancements happen. Palmer and Sam are both very likeable characters, and their actions and dialogue and are natural and feel very real. The side characters are pretty nice too, and they each have their moments. There aren’t that many moments, but they all have a chance to shine. Finally, the themes and messages about second chances and masculinity were approached in a natural way that felt good to watch.
Overall, I do recommend giving this one a watch. The beginning is slow, but the payoff is worth it.
Palmer is one of the more interesting movies I’ve seen in a while It was a really hard movie to judge because it does certain things so well, but it struggles with others. It’s an emotional drama packed full of characters. The storyline is quite powerful, but it takes a while to show up. Palmer has two very different parts, the first and second half. The first half is jammed packed with character development and lacks the story that makes the second half so good. It feels slow, not necessarily a bad thing, but the character attachment and emotional moments don’t kick in until the second hour. It makes for a less than great first half, almost boring. The 2-hour length is a little bit tough to handle because of that slow start. It doesn’t find its footing until the back half, and it was tough to stay focussed.
The second half is where this movie will make its money. The character development compounds into this feeling of empathy for the main protagonists. The plot finally starts to roll, and the emotional moments are front and centre. It is a much more entertaining, captivating, and emotional half, and the quality of the movie improves quite a lot. Justin Timberlake is fantastic throughout, but his character gets to spread his wings in the second half.
The first half is slow, no doubts there, but the second half makes this movie worth watching. If you are someone who appreciates strong characters and some good character development, the first half won’t even bother you. Even if it does, the second half is well worth the wait. The first Apple TV original we’ve checked out, definitely worth a watch!
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