Scenic Route, 2013.
Directed by Kevin Goetz and Michael Goetz.
Starring Josh Duhamel, Dan Fogler, Miracle Laurie, Christie Burson, Peter Michael Goetz, Jamie Donovan and Ethan Maher.
The relationship between two old friends is tested as they are stranded in the desert.
I love the movies that come out of the festival circuit. They’re at the perfect spot between Oscar caliber and genre movies. They’re usually more intimate and a lot more fun than most traditional mainstream movies. When I first heard about Scenic Route I was hesitant to say the least. I’ve gotten tired of Jack Black, so Dan Fogler is skating on even thinner ice, and Josh Duhamel is somebody who I have no opinion on whatsoever, but if I did it’d be that he can’t act very well. However, I’d heard some good things about this so I decided to check it out.
Scenic Route is a movie about two estranged friends who go on a road trip. Things get interesting once their car breaks down on the titular ‘scenic route’ which is miles away from civilization in the middle of nowhere. So essentially, this is a ‘stranded’ film in the vein of Buried or 127 Hours. Now neither of the leads are as talented as Ryan Reynolds and especially not James Franco , but they do turn in pretty good performances. Not career defining or Oscar-worthy, but it’s nice to know that these guys can in fact act when necessary. And it’s just these two for the majority of the movie. Dan Fogler didn’t irritate me at any point, which is a huge praise in itself.
What Scenic Route has that other movies of this type don’t is that this goes places those other films don’t. This is basically a horror movie and it gets very disturbing at times. It doesn’t go overboard but I really appreciated the extra steps it took, which you generally wouldn’t find in a studio movie. Generally, these movies always have anti-climactic endings, which is just something I’ve come to terms with when watching these. However, Scenic Route finds an interesting way around this stumbling block, and while it wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted, I appreciated that they at least tried.
Overall Scenic Route is the type of movie I love to see coming out of festivals. They’re a testing ground to see which actors can actually act, and Dan Fogler and Josh Duhamel step up to the plate and deliver. There’s nothing in Scenic Route that blew my mind, but its a fun little movie and if you see this at Redbox grab it immediately. You’ll be entertained much more than you’d think.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Anthony Stokes is a blogger and independent filmmaker.