Something Truly Special - Review of Ashby
When I first saw the trailer for Ashby (2015) - a movie about a high-school student who befriends a retired CIA assassin - I thought it looked entertaining, so I decided to give it a shot. I'm damn glad I did, because the movie turned out to be so much more than just entertaining.

Ashby is a movie with two stories. One is about a high-school student, who is an interesting character with a fresh range of subtleties to his personality, and who is growing into being himself. The other is about a retired CIA assassin, who is looking back at his life and preparing for what will come next - both reflections influenced by his friendship with someone with a much more naive/young perspective on life.

This is very much a movie that grew on me as I got further into it. At first it was a simple, good, entertaining movie. However, as the two stories progressed, I began to realize that I was getting caught utterly and completely by the movie - or rather, by its characters. The character development of the high-school student was curious, entertaining, and relatable. The character exploration of the retired CIA assassin was extremely interesting, deep, thought-provoking, and moving. And even though I absolutely loved the more serious storyline, while only liking the more lighthearted and entertaining storyline, I still somehow feel that one wouldn't have worked without the other. In this way, the movie managed to have its stories perfectly complement one another in a way that drew me in, as the viewer, in an inviting way, before beginning tugging at my heartstrings.

Ashby is something truly special. I don't think I've ever seen a movie quite like this. It is almost like a mix between a coming-of-age movie and Gran Torino (2008); and, as weird as that may sound, it worked perfectly for Ashby.

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