Thursday, July 21, 2011

Should've called Triple A!

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Cast: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan
Released: May 2, 1997

This is one of those films that keeps getting more ridiculous with each passing scene. Jeff and Amy Taylor (Russell and Quinlan) are a married couple who are moving from Massachusetts to California. (The moving van is either already there or is going to meet them later). They're somewhere in the Southwest when their car breaks down after just coming from a gas station. Jeff tried to use his (hilariously outdated) cell phone, but he gets no service. They wave down a semi truck and the driver (Walsh) offers to give them a ride into town, but Jeff doesn't want to leave the car alone and thinks they just need to let if cool down. Amy thinks they should go into town since they're given the opportunity and they agree that she'll ride with the trucker, find somebody to come out and fix the car, and they'll meet later at a diner in the next town. I don't know why they didn't have Amy ride back with the service guy, but it's a moot point anyway.

Time elapses and nobody shows up to the car, so Jeff decides to see if it will start and when it does he drives to the diner where he's supposed to meet his wife. She's not there and the cook tells him he hasn't seen her. He decides there's been a mix up in communication and drives to the next town. As he's driving there, he sees the semi that his wife rode in. (Now if that were me, I wouldn't have even noticed because all semis look the same to me). He stops the trucker who plays dumb and tells him he's never seen him before in his life and has no idea what he's talking about when Jeff demands where his wife is. He stops a police officer who looks like Dr. Phil, but when he inspects the truck, he doesn't find any evidence that his wife was ever there.

So we find out that his wife has been kidnapped and the trucker is working with these other guys who tell Jeff to take $90,000 out of his bank account, but of course he doesn't have that much money. He kills the guy who is supposed to bring him back to the trucker, who is in charge of this whole operation and sneaks onto the trucker's semi while running after it while it's driving away, and hanging onto the bottom of it while it's driving down a highway probably at 75 mph and climbing up into the truck.

The trucker takes him to his home and it turns out he's been hiding Amy in the storage area of the truck and she's wrapped in a white sheet. Now, it's been several hours since she's been missing, so it's a miracle that she's still alive and hasn't been suffocated to death. He watches the bad guys place her in a locked cellar then they disappear back to the house. Jeff grabs a gun from the truck and I'm thinking, Oh, he's going to shoot the lock off the - oh, wait, why is he going into the house? He holds the bad guys up and tells them to open the cellar. Now why didn't he just shoot the lock off the cellar? Now I've only shot a gun once (good ol' Girlscout camp) so I don't know if that would work, but it would be better than having all these bad guys chasing you and your wife and trying to kill you which is exactly what happens when he and Amy manage to escape.

The ending is extremely over the top and ridiculous. Jeff and Amy have been rammed off this really high bridge by the trucker and are pretty much dangling by a thread. Amy is stuck, but Jeff climbs out of his car and into the semi and he and the trucker have a brawl right then and there outside on the semi, which is also dangling over the bridge. The trucker falls splat onto the rocks below him and Jeff climbs back to safety and gets his wife out of the car. They look down and lo and behold the guy freaking moves! That huge fall down to the rocks didn't even kill him! Yeah, okay. So they somehow release the truck and it falls on him. Now I know that guy tried to kill them and all, but that just seems a little cruel. It's not like he was going to get up and start chasing them again.

Entertaining movie, but so ridiculous and over the top. I admitted I laughed several times at scenes that weren't ever supposed to be funny. (That last one is a good example).

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