Jake Johnson is perhaps best known for his role opposite Zooey Deschanel in the sitcom New Girl, which ran for seven seasons on Fox. However, in recent years, he has also branched out and begun lending his talents to blockbusters such as Jurassic World and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In the new movie Ride the Eagle, he stars as a man whose mother communicates with him from beyond the grave. Don’t worry, this is a feel-good comedy and not a horror film, so watch the Ride the Eagle trailer below.

Ride the Eagle Trailer

We’ve seen movies where famous actors only appeared by Skype (Vincent D’Onofrio in Sinister comes to mind as one example), but Ride the Eagle looks to be going a more old-school route with Susan Sarandon. She co-stars here as the late mother of Johnson’s character, but here we only see her speaking to him through a videotape on a Panasonic TV.

“Look at me, talking to you even though I’m dead,” she says. “Well, I’m still here, spiritually.” He’s in a remote cabin, watching her on VHS like this, and at one point, there’s a joke that makes it seem like she’s going to somehow phase through the television and enter the room with him.

“Before you die, you see … The Ring.” I know it must seem like I have horror movies on the brain, but the trailer for Ride the Eagle does toy with the spooky possibilities of its scenario before promptly lightening the mood.

Johnson voiced Peter Parker in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and the comedic highlights of this trailer come mostly from J.K. Simmons, who also has a Spidey connection by playing J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s live-action Spider-Man movies (and now the Marvel Studios Spider-Man movies). Simmons plays Honey’s old lover, who isn’t above sneaking into her cabin after she’s gone. D’Arcy Carden of The Good Place fame also makes an appearance as Leif’s ex-girlfriend, “the one who got away.”

More than anything, Ride the Eagle seems like a version of The Bucket List where it’s a surviving loved one who must cross items off the list, learning life lessons from a parent who still wants to impart some of her wisdom even after she’s gone. Here’s the official synopsis:

When Leif’s estranged mother Honey dies, she leaves him a “conditional inheritance.” Before he can move into her picturesque Yosemite cabin, he has to complete her elaborate and sometimes dubious to-do list. Leif and Nora, his canine BFF, step into Honey’s wild world as she tries to make amends from beyond the grave in this hilarious and heartfelt comedy.

Ride the Eagle arrives on digital and in theaters on July 30, 2021.

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