Tuesday, April 6, 2010

That's a big 10-4

At first, Trucker (2008) feels like one of those pre-Production Code movies of the early 30s in which women were strong and tough and independent, far more so than they would be portrayed later in the decade.

Then the film seems to be settling into the territory of "women as part of the desperate underclass" films, such as Frozen River and Wendy and Lucy. Then as Michelle Monaghan's central character was reunited with her long estranged son and displays no ability to relate to him, I thought, "Aha, they are remaking all those grouchy-old-man-with-spunky-kid" movies they used to do with Walter Matthau 30 years ago, only now with attractive young women instead of wrinkly old guys.

But in time, Trucker shows its true colors as one of those film-festival films which packs 24 minutes of incident into a thrill-packed 88 minutes. You know, the kind of movie which, after any dramatic incident, needs to have about 60 seconds of shots of the leading lady sitting and smoking and thinking about what just happened. Too bad, because I was waylaid into seeing this film by the presence of Nathan Fillion, who is always welcome. (Someday some smart producer will cast Nathan Fillion and Bruce Campbell in the same movie, perhaps in the same scenes, and my head will explode with delight.)

I know this is not a very thoughtful or analytic post, but the film simply strikes me as one of those films which benefited from the excess of investment funds available three years ago, but would have benefited more from a more thoughtful, complex and engaging script.

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