Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Joy Ride Review

Joy Ride Poster

Joy Ride brings driving on the freeway to nightmare levels, but it’s not exactly a top ten contender at all.

Joy Ride revolves around a group of friends on the open road. Lewis Thomas is on a road trip to pick up his girlfriend, meanwhile he stops off to pick up his brother, who happens to be fresh out of jail. All is good, and the two share friendly banter and things are going very smooth. However, along the way Fuller (the brother) decides to play a joke via their cb radio. He pretends to be a girl named Candy and evokes a psychotic stalker to chase them down, and business picks up fast.

Here's a trailer for the movie Joy Ride:

Paul Walker in a driving movie? Steve Zahn in a serious role? This has to be a cruel joke right? Paul Walker was thrown into the front man lead with a series of movies, “Varsity Blues”, “She’s All That”, “The Skulls” and “The Fast and the Furious” all before landing the lead role in this film. On the flipside we have Steve Zahn, who is usually doing comedy performances, so it’s hard to get serious about this film considering the resume leading up to this film isn’t going to promise a lot.

Joy Ride In car

The actual film is set on the road, so there’s a lot of shots of driving, quick in and outs and overall footage of the open road, and sometimes you really feel like you’re on a cross country trip, meaning that this thing gets boring really fast. The trucker is never really shown, but his rig is massive. Logic gets thrown out the window, because what trucker would leave his route to chase down a couple of practical jokers? It just doesn’t make sense to me, since I know a few truckers and they said this movie is really improbable, the truckers #1 purpose is to deliver the load, not chase down some jokers. So right then you really get turned off by the film.

The film is relatively short, and Walker does try to do some serious acting. He really pushes it, like he did in 2000’s hit “The Skulls” which isn’t saying a whole lot, but it proves that there’s a little more to him than his “Meet The Deedles” role. Walker saves the film at times, and you know what? Zahn’s performance isn’t all that bad either, and he puts on the comic relief when things really do get dry.

Joy Ride pic

Why it’s scary: This movie isn’t all that gorey, or really scary. Sure there premise lends itself well to the world of horror movies, but it isn’t the greatest film known to man. I personally had a hard time relaying how this film could or would be scary. The characters have it coming, because they are the antagonists. However, there is something scary about this indeed, and it relies on at least one of the two points that I made in the Jason Lives review.

Let’s consider that you are on a road trip. I’ve been on a few cross country road trips, and the road is monotonous. It’s a long hard thing to drive cross country and even with family or friends. Friends make it fun, but you can easily hate one another and really have a hard time making the whole trip on good notes. However, turn the lights out, night driving causes some weird moves, and then factor in the cb radio joke that is played. If you are getting chased by a trucker, what do you do? I personally would be scared of getting hit by the trucker, and am not a stunt driver at all, and most likely would die immediately if the trucker got his friends to jump in on the revenge! In fact, this movie is scary because it makes truckers look like they are dangerous or can be dangerous if provoked.

It’s farfetched, and the fear that this movie tries to get out of you really relies on your fear of getting into car accidents. Not just those, but car accidents that are involving big rig trucks, because there is no real fear outside of the size of these machines. Sure the trucker is scary, but he’s not a real threat outside of the rig. Take the car elements out of this film, and I’m not really scared. So consider the actual driving and night shots of this film, and it becomes scary. Take those away and you really aren’t too scared. Furthermore, why not just call the police? The police would handle this immediately, and you know what? I’ve seen so many episodes of wild police chases to know that this type of behavior wouldn’t fly very long.

If you want a better “big rig” movie, I would recommend the movie “Breakdown” with Kurt Russell. Ok, maybe only because the ending has a big rig crushing a guy. While this movie has scary moments, it is not a complete tale of horror, and like I said early in this post, the characters have it coming! I don’t sympathize with them all that well because they are the antagonists and instigators. Sure it’s extreme to get nearly killed, but come on, you shouldn’t have used the cb radio for that.

I recommend watching Joy Ride at least once, but not more than that. Paul Walker really tries to get into the leading roll territory, but not really. He does ok, but not as good as my favorite Paul Walker flick: Running Scared. Running Scared is Paul Walkers “The Godfather” and if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. Go watch “Running Scared” it’s not a horror film, but it’s better than Joy Ride. A sequel to Joy Ride is out now, so maybe the second one overshadows the original, and I’m 100% positive that Paul Walker and Steve Zahn are NOT in the second one.

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this film (and its sequel as well - see my page - - for a review on that one)

    You did good recommending Breakdown as well, as that too was a great flick! However, Spielberg's DUEL is the mother of all trucker movies! ;-)

    Nice Review!


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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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