There are movies that come along that seem a bit out there, sporting a cast that doesn’t make all that much sense and it’s usually is a good thing. The stranger the story though, the higher risk you take on getting something that just doesn’t work. The latest Scenic Route features Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler and cover art that looks like something out of the Road Warrior. Could this be one of those surprisingly original films or is it another misleading generic straight to video release?
Scenic Route follows two lifelong friends whose truck breaks down on an isolated desert road during a road trip. As the heat and despair begin to take over they begin to turn on each other, attacking each other's life decisions with unwavering brutality. Going into these kinds of movies you really never know what to expect, but here the movie really delivers. It’s not anything breaking boundaries or anything, but just some clever filmmaking and storytelling. The story is pretty simple but manages to deliver a really effective overall tale. Duhamel has done comedy, drama, and action but here is given a chance to do a bit of it all and gives easily one of his best performances to date. His character goes the furthest off the rails of the two and really seems to dive head first into this role. The real surprise comes from Fogler who normally goes for the comedy route and has some funny moments here, but is given the chance to showcase more emotion and talent with this character and also delivers. These two guys worked really well together which was a must for this film since pretty much the entire film is just them at odds.
This is one of those rare gems that works on pretty much every level, but may lose some with the ending. While it works perfectly to the stuff they go through, those expecting more may be put off. Whether you get it or not the journey these characters take and the performances Duhamel and Fogler give make for a great film and worth checking out.