Movie Review: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

If you’re already a dead-end alcoholic, probably the last thing you need is a booze-fueled highway crash that severs your spine and leaves you a quadriplegic, right? Like, what next?
This is what happened to the late cartoonist John Callahan, who subsequently adopted a harsh, jokey tone in dealing with physical impairment (and everything else) in his work. In Gus Van Sant’s new movie, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, we see Callahan, played by Joaquin Phoenix, as a young wastrel shuffling around Portland, Oregon, in never-ending search of a drink. (Van Sant has a fine eye for the details of the blotto lifestyle—like the morning liquor-store visit that requires a nervous exchange of empty pleasantries with a clerk before one can desperately request a cheap pint.)
We follow Callahan to a party where he meets a fellow lush named Dexter (Jack Black), and then to a bar for a

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