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"IF" Review: John Krasinski's Unique Family Fantasy Adventure

Writer and director John Krasinski takes a daring leap into family-friendly filmmaking with "IF," a movie that defies easy categorization and leaves audiences pondering their reactions. Krasinski's ambitious effort presents a unique blend of emotional depth and whimsical fantasy, but struggles to find its footing amidst tonal inconsistencies and a lack of clear direction.

if movie poster

Release date 17 May 2024
Critic's Rating 3.5/5
Director John Krasinski
Cast   Cailey Fleming, Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Fiona Shaw, Alan Kim and Liza Colón-Zayas
Duration  104 minutes

The film centers on Bea, played by Cailey Fleming, a young girl grappling with loss and uncertainty. Living with her grandmother in Brooklyn, Bea discovers a rare gift: the ability to see imaginary friends, known as IFs. Teaming up with Cal, played by Ryan Reynolds, and a host of colorful characters, Bea embarks on a journey of discovery and self-realization, all while facing the impending surgery of her father.

Despite an A-list cast, including the likes of Steve Carell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Emily Blunt in voice roles, "IF" struggles to find coherence in its storytelling. While Krasinski infuses the film with heartfelt sincerity, it ultimately falls short due to its lack of clear rules and internal logic. The movie veers between moments of whimsy and melancholy, leaving audiences uncertain of its intended audience and message.

ryan reynolds in if

Krasinski's dedication to the project is evident, with top-tier talent contributing to its production, including composer Michael Giacchino and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. However, "IF" fails to fully capitalize on its potential, caught between the realms of children's entertainment and adult-oriented storytelling.

In the end, "IF" remains an enigmatic and intriguing misfire, with the potential for cult classic status yet to be determined. While it may stir emotions in some viewers, its lack of clarity and consistency prevent it from fully resonating with audiences. Time will tell if "IF" finds its place in cinematic history, but for now, it remains a curious and perplexing addition to the world of family fantasy films.

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