Road Rage (2000) / Thriller-Action
aka A Friday Night Date
MPAA Rated: R for language and violence
Running Time: 96 min.
Cast: Casper Van Dien, Danielle Brett, Joseph Griffin, Anthone Tullo, Chuck Byrn
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Screenplay: Greg Mellott
Review published September 25, 2004
Woefully bad crap from Sidney J. Furie, director of such cinema trash as Superman IV and the Iron Eagle films. Road Rage is basically a Duel rip-off, except with horrible direction, lackluster acting, and one hell of an abomination called a script. It's so awful, I almost respect the makers of Joy Ride for taking this same formula and making it at least passable, as this film is by far one of the dumbest ideas for a movie to date.
The movie starts off on a nondescript college campus where Sonia (Brett) is breaking up with her ne'er-do-well jock boyfriend, Bo (Griffin). Bo gets a little rough, but Sonia is saved by handsome stud, Jim (Van Dien, Starship Troopers), who offers her a ride home. As they drive along the freeway, Jim gets careless and cuts off a large pickup truck, kicking off the adventure as the driver of the truck begins to chase after them and doesn't relent. The cops won't believe their story, and circumstances keep them from getting assistance, so they are off on their own, with a maniacal driver hell-bent at getting them at all costs.
At first, Road Rage might seem like amusing schlock, perfect for late-night cable aficionados to enjoy for some mindlessly bad entertainment. Without revealing too much, there is another reason why the driver of the truck is tenaciously after the couple, revealed about halfway through the film, but once you learn what's the what, this film turns from feeble to painfully difficult to watch.
There are things in this film that defy all logic and the laws of physics. Jim peels out in a parking lot, and the cops come out guns drawn -- then they don't believe him even though there are hundreds of witnesses that surely must have reported the two drivers nearly killing them, and one of these includes a cop that crashes through the rig of a truck! Then there are the cars that explode at the slightest accident, or which do death defying jumps and two-wheeling over and through other vehicles despite the lack of anything remotely resembling a ramp on the road. Never mind the fact that all of these college students still living with their parents are played by actors well into their 30s, or that continuity errors like vehicles that are dinged up in one shot are shown in fine condition the next. What's worse are the actors, who go from anguished horror at their predicament in one scene to smiling and laughing the next. Is there anyone at the wheel here???
The only "road rage" I want to see is that which happens should the makers of this abomination have the misfortune of being in front of my vehicle. This one is STRICTLY for "car crash porn" fetishists or morons, although the distinction between the two is negligible at best.
©2004 Vince Leo