There are movies that come along that that feature an interesting cast and looks to be trying something original on screen. On the Road adapted from the novel by Jack Kerouac features a great cast including Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Tom Surridge, Alice Braga, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi, and Terrance Howard, but does it pack the punch to bring this iconic book to life?
On the Road follows a struggling writer who sets out on the road in hopes for inspiration. During his travels he is befriended by a charismatic, free-spirited man and his young wife whom he travels the southwest with in a world of sex, drugs, and jazz that will change their lives forever. This is one of those movies that works fine, but really goes nowhere. The performances are excellent across the board with the majority of the cast showing up for short but memorable cameos, but are cluttered in a film that really does nothing. That is not to say this isn’t a great film because it is, but just seems to be missing a point. Everyone is delivering their A-game including Kristen Stewart who gives easily her best performance to date. While most road trip movies feel like a journey that has an ending but here it feels like they keep returning to the road and never find that ending it needs. There is a story of the evolution of these people’s relationships and the outcomes of where their trip took them, but it just seemed like it was missing something. This film is worth checking out for the performances alone which is really what it seems to be offering as it is a character study and focuses on the dialogue and actors to bring it to life as opposed to the usual big budget effects and over the top storylines. This is a simple yet complex road journey that works for what they are trying to deliver despite it feeling void of a real ending.
This film is about the journey and does come full circle but it is the issue comes with really getting the effective passion and experience to really come through. Those that have read the book will be the true judge to see if it gets the same message across. If you are a fan of the book or just great acting, then this is a film you should check out, but just understand that this film is about the journey and not the destination.