by Tony Medley
I think they
could appeal to what is more elevated in people instead of the common
denominator. Marlon Brando
on movies, 1955.
criticism of movies at the dawn of his career applies to this film in
spades. Written and co-directed (with David Palmer) by Dax Shepard, the
film is replete with F-bombs and other vulgar language as well as full
frontal male and female nudity. I attended a screening that included a
Q&A with Shepard, his co-star (and girlfriend in real life) Kristen
Bell, and David Palmer. They all dropped F-bombs in their responses to a
theater full of people, even Bell, so it's not surprising that the
language in their film is from the gutter.
And that's a
shame because this is actually a fairly entertaining movie that could
have had broad appeal for the entire family. As it is, however, it's
certainly not a film for children. Shepard should know better because he
says the film was inspired by Smokey and the Bandit (1977), which
he says he's seen "30 times." Had it been filled with this language, he
would have been too young to see it when it came out (he was 2 years old
in 1977), or for many years afterwards.
The gestation of
the movie came when a friend called Dax and said he had some financing
for a car chase movie and inquired if Dax didn't have an idea for one.
Even though he didn't, Dax said he did, and spent the next two days
developing one for a meet. He wrote it in 3 weeks, they got the
financing (although it originally was Lionsgate, who didn't end up
involved), and shot it in five weeks.
between Annie (Bell) and Charlie Bronson (Palmer), who is in the witness
protection program, is touching and holds the movie together as they
commence to drive to Los Angeles so Annie can interview for a job, all
the while being pursued by bad guys led by Bradley Cooper.
There are a lot
of car-driving stunts and Shepard and Bell did not have doubles, which
probably never would have been allowed had this not been a low budget
I thought the
first 30 minutes dragged quite a bit and that the dialogue was forced.
After that the car chase starts and lasts for the rest of the film and
it is more interesting.
It would be nice
if a small Indie like this could get some traction, but the foul
language is a big distraction.
August 18, 2012