Review by Adam Donato
Written and directed by Patrick Gilles, I’m Charlie Walker is based on the true story of the life of Charlie Walker. This story is set in the early 1970s in San Francisco. Walker runs a trucking business that is having a hard time flourishing due to bigoted racists of the time. When nobody else dares to take on the challenge of the oil spill down at the beach, Walker takes advantage of the opportunity and gets to work. Starring Mike Colter and Dylan Baker, I’m Charlie Walker is a biopic drama that feels like it was ripped straight from the time period it was set in. Does this movie do justice to the legend himself?
I’m Charlie Walker is an enjoyable throwback piece. The story only covers a short part of the man’s life, but they do a good job showcasing who he was as a person. With a runtime of only an hour and eighteen minutes, this feels like an elongated episode of a television series more so than a movie. That being said, the short runtime goes a long way to making this movie not overstay its welcome. By the end, everything feels wrapped up in a satisfying way. It’s enjoyable to watch this hero overcome the field, get the job done and bring different people together in the process. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing racists get what’s coming to them?
Colter is a very solid leading man. Most viewers would recognize him from the Netflix show, Luke Cage. The man clearly has experience playing a badass hero. In I’m Charlie Walker, he’s smooth, sympathetic, and in charge throughout. His best scenes in the movie are when he is opposite Baker’s character of the racist corporate drug addict. It’s already easy to hate his character because he’s openly racist, but Baker goes the extra mile to make this foe unabashedly slimy. The only other standout is being Safiya Fredericks, who plays Ann Walker, Charlie’s wife. The movie is narrated by her and this is the most awkward part of the film as her character plays such a minute role. Also, famous writer Boots Riley shows up as Bartender Ray, which is cool.
The beauty of I'm Charlie Walker is its simplicity. It’s a tight movie about an underdog who takes on the man. With solid lead performances and good source material to work off of, this movie is a good time to watch. Recommend this movie to anybody who enjoys stories tackling racism in the 20th Century.
I'm Charlie Walker is now available on VOD.