Every Friday night, Movies.com sends cinephiles (and newlyweds) Sarah and Joe Piccirillo to see a film. Afterwards, they answer a few questions about it. Below is their discussion.
Synopsis: If former race-car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) ever wants to see his kidnapped wife again, he must first perform a series of driving-related errands at the behest of a sinister villain (Jon Voight). With Selena Gomez.
Was this a good date movie?
Joe: I would never willingly take a date to this movie. It made me sad to be alive. It’s an equivalent experience to walking through a mall and stopping in front of Game Stop to watch a kid play a race-car game on the complimentary Xbox. Except that kid is Ethan Hawke.
Sarah: Hell no. There was no charm, no humor, and barely a plot. What it was was irritating. And I can’t imagine seeing it on a date and feeling anything but cranky afterward.
What drove you nuts?
Sarah: All of it.
Joe: Selena Gomez’ character’s perpetual imitation of my mother during car trips:
Sarah: The mind-numbing loop of 1) car chase, 2) voice giving instructions, 3) Selena swearing. Five seconds of each. Repeat ad nauseam.
Joe: The actual instructions were just insane and bizarre.
Sarah: Yes! They were absurd: “Turn right!” “Drive through the ice skating rink!” “Hit as many things as possible!”
Joe: It’s like the villain is an errant GPS.
Sarah: Or a remake of 2001: A Space Odyssey with a GPS.
Joe: And Ethan Hawke doesn’t question any of this. He doesn’t even seem privately concerned like, “So… how does knocking over Christmas trees get me closer to my wife?”
Sarah: I was waiting for the big villain to be Bugs Bunny.
Joe: It was just flat-out dumb. The dialogue, the plot, the big reveal: dumb, dumb, dumb. We’re putting more effort in reviewing it than they did in writing it.
How were the car-chase scenes?
Joe: Well, I feel like there are limited options for the hero during a car chase, and the producers showed great restraint when using the “stop short” trick.
Sarah: It’s faulty logic to think that because the use of CGI generally ruins a movie, the absence of it elevates it.
Joe: At least there were no ridiculous explosions…
Sarah: I wouldn’t know. I zoned out after the 75th minute of car chase.
Joe: I hated that scene in the last third of the movie, which was a five-minute unbroken POV shot of Hawke’s dashboard as he drove through the city.
Sarah: That was the only scene I liked.
Sarah: It offered a few moments of serenity after smashing , crashing and Selena’s babbling. It was soothing and choreographed. I finally felt the connection between driver and car that I think they were trying to hammer down our throats the whole time.
Joe: To me it felt like I was watching my little cousin play Outrun.
What will you be thinking about tomorrow?
Sarah: It’s really hard to take Jon Voight seriously when he sounds like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
Joe: Agreed. It also didn’t help to have it paired with that Country Crock-style of filmmaking. I could have done without the close-ups of Jon Voight speaking sinister lines while stuffing his face with appetizers.
Sarah: The whole time it seems like there’s some hidden connection, some big reveal that explains how these two are connected and why they get in a car together. Not only is there no payoff, but the randomness eliminates any suspense.
Sarah: This is not a movie; it’s a video game. Skip it.
Joe: Apparently there was no CGI used in the car-chase scenes. They only used computers to write the script. Skip it.
Sarah and Joe are writers/editors who live in Boston. They met in a bar and married within a year. They love to argue about early Woody Allen films and old romantic comedies. They both agree to hate musicals.