You show someone an actor, and more often than not your showing someone who eventually wants to direct. In his debut as a writer/director, star Jason Momoa gives us "Road To Paloma" that while admittedly pretty basic, actually shows a little bit of promise as it is a solid revenge story.
Wolf (Jason Momoa), is a Native American man on the run after avenging his mother's murder, He flees across the desolate American West on his motorcycle, discovering that justice has a cost. Wolf's search for redemption will reveal secrets and take him on a journey where the roads have some very unexpected turns and he is unable to shelter the one's that he loves from the price and the toll that his misdeeds take upon them all.
It's not high art, but "Road to Paloma" is a decent little revenge thriller with a social conscience that shows some actually directorial talent from someone who you wouldn't necessarily expect.
A simple narrative, with quite a few writing cooks in the kitchen, Jason Momoa as a storyteller and a writer actually has a flash of promise as he makes a film that actually looks quite beautiful and touches on some issues of spirituality and tribal issues inside the Native American community and how certain crimes aren't covered or treated with the right amount of respect or reverence when they take place in Indian territory. Momoa takes the narrative and moves it along at a healthy pace, and while some of it jumps into areas that get a little flakey and nebulous, it still plays as our lead character of Wolf, may be a murderer but he is also a man of principle who is deeply in grained in his peoples ways and customs, even when they don't necessarily line up with the current laws of the land. Momoa tapped into the spirit of how people on the lamb and even wayward drifters may not be the best quality folk in the world but they are just looking for the right path in their lives just like the rest of us.
Momoa holds his own carrying multiple responsibilities and wearing many hats on this project and it doesn't take away from his performance as Wolf. He's not required to do any heavy lifting other then shoot smoldering gazes to the screen and be magnetic, but it works as his mysterious yet noble man who lives by a certain code wraps up some family business and makes some unique connections along the course of the narrative. There are some familiar faces along the way as Lisa Bonet, Sarah Shahi and Wes Stud all have small yet pivotal roles and it would have been nice had things been fleshed out a little better.
Ultimately, "Road to Paloma" was a decent revenge flick and a good effort for a debut feature, but it with a little effort and some better defined edges to it all it could have been something very good.
3 out of 5 stars.
"Road to Paloma" is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, On Demand and Digital Download from all major providers.