Ride On (2023), written and directed by Larry Yang, is a sentimental drama that takes us through the relationship Luo Zhilong (or Lao) shares with the horse he brought up as his own child, Red Hare. It also shares a glimpse of the fates of the stunt performers who risked their lives for their art but are unfortunately in more need today because they have been replaced by CGI (computer-generated images) in action movies. It peppers in the right dose of father-daughter relationship sentimentality and action to keep you entertained for around 126 minutes. If you have watched the movie and want to dive deep into the plot, this article will help satisfy your curiosity. Beware, spoilers ahead!

Ride On (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The film begins with Luo (or Lao), played by Jackie Chan, being woken up by a horse, Red Hare, in a rundown ranch. Soon afterward, he rides the horse and accompanies him to what looks like the town center or a place where the film crew generally does shooting, where the horse is displayed. The horse is the main attraction and draws the little money Lao earns at the end of each day. A famous movie star passes by and recognizes Lao, nodding at the latter from afar.

The businessman accompanying him wonders why the star knows a meager street performer, but the former reveals that Lao is special – he used to be a very famous stuntman who worked in several movies; he also taught and inspired many young artists, including the movie star, but he is old and out of business now so he puts up his horse for display to earn some money.

Lao, however, is content – he has Red Hare, an apprentice, and the latter’s girlfriend to keep him company at the ranch. One day, at the ranch, Lao is visited by two men who hand him a bunch of court papers stating an order that would take away Red Hare from Lao. Although the four of them scare the men away, they are worried about the legality of the situation.

The apprentice suggests visiting a lawyer. We are soon introduced to Luo Xiaobao (played by Haocum Liu), Lao’s daughter, who is a bailiff, not a lawyer yet, whom Lao approaches for help. But Xiaobao (also known as Bao) is cross with Lao because despite being her father, he was never around when she was growing up, and needed him the most, especially during her mother’s long-drawn illness.

However, she remembers her mother’s dying wish – to reach out to him if he came searching for her – and unwillingly agrees to communicate with her father. She takes her boyfriend Mickey (played by Kevin Guo), a newly licensed lawyer, to his father’s for help. They believe they can present Lao’s case to the court and try to keep Red Hare from parting with Lao.  

Lao doesn’t know how to bond with either Bao or Mickey. With Mickey, he appears stern and tries to familiarise him with Red Hare, showing him how to cuddle him and kiss him, and teaches him to protect his daughter if need be. With Bao, he invites her to a film set where he has been recently asked to work as a stuntman again. This latest development results from his recent fight with the local goons – Dami and his gang – whom he owes money to. While the latter chased and attacked him, someone recorded and uploaded a video of Lao and Red Hare deftly fighting through the public fiasco.

However, in the film set, Red Hare is uncooperative in the beginning, making Lao angry with him. Xiaobao tries to make Red Hare understand that no one would try to make him do anything against him, which strikes a chord with the horse, and soon Lao and the Red Hare perform effortlessly during the shooting. This inevitably leads to the rolling in of contracts for stuntman work for both Lao and Red Hare.

Bao becomes their manager, seeking contracts from filmmakers for the performers’ rights and work conditions. She is, however, constantly concerned that her father will start putting his work before everything else, even Red Hare’s safety. She also witnesses the dangerous lives that stunt performers lead, constantly on the brink of near-fatal or fatal injuries during the shoot. This helps her understand Lao better.

Seeing Lao bond with Mickey, Bao also gives her relationship a shot with her father. In fact, when confronted with Dami and his gang for the second time, Lao finds a perfect moment to reconnect with his daughter while riding her home. In the middle of this, we are shown a glimpse of how Red Hare came to live with Lao.

Three years ago, he had discovered a sickly newborn Red Hare and immediately bonded with him. He raised Red Hare like his own child, even though he missed his daughter’s growing-up years because of his work. He trained Red Hare to perform stunts and took care to heal his knee injury, raising him to be a stuntman like him, and developed an inseparable bond with him.

At present, the DY Capital Corporation, headed by Ho Xing, has already taken matters to the court regarding Red Hare’s custody, which is a continuation of the lawsuit that stated that Red Hare was the property of the previous owner. We see Bao and Mickey working together to submit claims from their end to carry forward the legal battle. Will they ultimately succeed in keeping Red Hare with Lao? The ending of Ride On (2023) is sentimental and rooted in the love between Lao and the horse.

What is the film Ride On (2023) about?

Ride On (2023) focuses on the relationship that Lao, a human being, shares with Red Hare, a horse he has brought up. It seeks to highlight the love and understanding shared between them and displays how they were essentially practitioners of the same art – sacrificing everything for the things they love. Since this is also the story of Lao’s relationship with his daughter and how that is amended with time, it focuses on the love of a father for his daughter. 

A still from Ride on (2023)
A still from Ride on (2023)

Who is Bao?

Luo Xiaobao, or Bao, is Lao’s daughter in the film Ride On (2023). Very early in the movie, we are shown that Bao had a troubled childhood because her parents divorced when she was very young. In her childhood, Bao was almost oblivious to who her father was because he was never around. Later, when her mother fell ill, her father never visited until the day of her funeral.

Bao was mad at her father for his negligence and continued to live by herself, studying the law, until her father found her out for a legal matter. We also learn that she is a bailiff while her boyfriend, Mickey, whom she wishes to marry, is a practicing lawyer. The film sheds light on the mending of the relationship between Lao and his daughter, Bao, as the two spend more and more time with each other due to the legal proceedings, mostly in Lao’s work on film sets.

What is Jackie Chan’s profession in the film Ride On (2023)?

In Ride On (2023), Lao is a retired stuntman. We come to know right at the start of the film that back in the day, he used to be a very popular and respected stuntman who had worked in several action movies and trained several artists and movie stars. Later in the movie, we learn that Lao was in an accident once while performing a dangerous stunt, leading to his fall from a great height.

Lao suffered from brain damage, leading to amnesia, and was in a coma for eight months. Since then, he stopped receiving work and was forced to retire as a stuntman. It was also when he faced depression and amnesia and closed himself off from everyone around him, including Bao’s mother. Thanks to his latest escapades with Red Hare, Lao is welcomed back to the film set as a stuntman, and the film shows us how it is Lao who must decide when to stop exerting himself and the horse because of his age and the dangers of the profession, respectively.

Ride On (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

What Happens to Red Hare in the End?

Bao invites her father, Lao, to dinner with Mickey and his parents. However, Bao’s uncouth mannerisms and unpolished way of making conversation become a source of embarrassment for his daughter. Both of them talk about giving each other a second chance at their relationship during the dinner. Before heading home that night, Bao asks her father not to let Red Hare exert himself so much. She also advised Lao against overworking when he fell and injured himself. However, on both these occasions, Lao turns the cold shoulder to her. Bao accuses him of being obsessed with his work like he used to be when she was a young girl.

While Lao hurts himself during a shoot, Bao discovers a collection of CCTV footage at the ranch while going through his things there. These CCTV footages are a collection of all her restaurant outings with her mother, collected by her mother for him to ensure that he could see her anytime he missed her. After a tearful reconciliation between father and daughter at the hospital, Bao also discovers that Lao was gravely injured during the shooting of a movie.

The accident had left him with brain damage and an eight months-long coma. The brain injuries further caused amnesia, leaving him without speech for over a year, and he fell into depression. He shut himself away from the world in such a scenario, not even having the courage to face his ex-wife. The truth finally makes Bao realize the extent of his pain and suffering as a stuntman. The duo stands near Red Hare, who is also recovering from the accident, and watches Lao perform daring stunts in an action film.

Lao receives another offer to perform as a stuntman in a film. Despite knowing that this one could be very dangerous for Red Hare and himself, he chooses to go along. When he trains Red Hare, Bao and Mickey walk in on them. Bao is upset with him for never listening to his advice and leaves with Mickey soon after. At the film set, in spite of all preparations, Lao has an epiphany during the performance of the stunt. In the middle of the shot, he ceases his performance, apologizes to Red Hare for stressing himself to overperform, and decides to retire from work as a stuntman.

Back in the courtroom, Mickey tries hard but loses Lao’s case. Red Hare’s custody is transferred to the corporation. We see Mickey spending his last moments with Red Hare before leaving him with the company people. Red Hare, too tries to make his way back to Lao, but Lao commands it to return to where they have left him. However, Bao is unable to see his father in such low spirits. She personally visits Ho Xing and makes a case for Lao and his dedication as a stuntman, telling him that the loss of Red Hare was equivalent to losing the honor of being a stuntman for Lao.

Soon, one morning, Lao wakes up to Red Hare and is elated beyond reason. Ho Xing explains that they would return Red Hare to Lao anyway because the former had refused food. Before leaving the ranch once and for all, Ho Xing restores the ‘Beware of the Horse’ poster at the entrance, symbolizing that everything has now gone back to as it should be – Red Hare will stay with Lao, and the latter has reunited with Bao. Ride On (2023) makes a case for a sweet and sappy happy ending, but we cannot complain because it stars Jackie Chan!

Read More: Top 10 Jackie Chan Films

Watch Ride on (2023) Movie Trailer

Ride On (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Ride On (2023) Movie Cast: Jackie Chan, Haocun Liu, Kevin Guo
Where to watch Ride On

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