Monday, October 12, 2015

Scenic Route (2013)

Number Rolled: N/A (Suggestion made by Movie Decisionmakers, @HeySense)
Movie Name/Year: Scenic Route (2013)
Tagline: There is no turning back
Genre: Thriller
Length: 86 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Anonymous Content, Best Medicine Productions
Executive Producer: Paul Green, Keith Redmon
Director: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz
Writer: Kyle Killen
Actors: Josh Duhamel, Dan Fogler, Peter Michael Goetz, Christie Burson, Jamie Donovan, Miracle Laurie, Ethan Maher

Mitchell and Carter are close friends hanging out on vacation. While driving through the desert, the men become stranded.

Selina’s Point of View:
You’d think a movie concentrating on two guys stranded in the desert wouldn’t really be all that thrilling. Sure, you might be able to see it as a comedy, especially since it’s starring Dan Fogler (Secrets and Lies, Don Peyote, Good Luck Chuck) and Josh Duhamel (You’re Not You, Bravetown, Las Vegas), but a thriller?

It worked, though. There were parts of this film that were absolutely harrowing.

Scenic Route didn’t really follow the recipe for many of the thrillers out there. In fact, at times, it followed that popular sitcom recipe of two disagreeing parties being trapped in an elevator, or a basement, or a bathroom, or a plane, or a…. you get the point. Instead of taking that sitcom-comedy route, however, the movie shows a whole other side of human nature that really only exists during crisis or in life-threatening situations.

They say you don’t really know someone until you’ve seen them in crisis. That’s when we show what we are really made of.

The downfall in movies that have only two characters with very little support tends to come from the actors. It’s more important in small-cast movies for the actors to really make a connection with the audience than in large-cast films. Usually, the story relies on it.

That downfall didn’t plague this film.

Duhamel and Fogler created enough of a connection that I actually cared about them and their relationship to each other.

Also, I have to say it, Duhamel in a Mohawk…. I might have drooled a little.

That being said, you might have noticed that we didn’t actually roll for this film. It was still random to us, though. We were contacted on Twitter by a service called Movie Decisionmakers (@HeySense). They’re fellow Netflixers, so I decided to look into it.

The service seems to be relatively new, they joined Twitter in October 2014. The service they provide is free and it’s kind of interesting. They give users a short survey to find out what kind of movies they enjoy and then suggest a random film from Netflix for them to watch. It’s an instant recommendation based on what you enjoy. It’s cool. Hit them up on Twitter and check it out.

Cat’s Point of View:
Have you ever had that one road trip where just absolutely nothing went the way it was supposed to? If you travel with any frequency; the law of averages says that it’s bound to happen. What happens to this pair of friends makes every travel snafu I’ve ever experienced look like cake walk.

I laughed, face-palmed, rolled my eyes, cringed, and fussed at the characters through my screen. I felt like I was watching a ‘what not to do if you get stranded in the desert’ film.

The dilemma they found themselves in was more of a backdrop, however, to the interaction between the two friends. There’s nothing like a tense situation to bring all sorts of bottled up issues to the surface.

Josh Duhamel (Turistas, When in Rome, Safe Haven) and Dan Fogler (Fanboys, Mars Needs Moms, Hellbenders) masterfully embodied the spiral of their characters’ experience. That is also a real Mohawk that Duhamel is sporting – no strange skull-cap prosthetics for him!

Movies such as this one illustrate clearly that you don’t need a multi-million-dollar movie set to create a great film.

I really enjoyed this movie. I may just watch it again, soon, to see if I can pick up on anything I might have missed along the way.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 65%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 50%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Movie Trailer:

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