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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Transit (review)

Transit

This movie hasn’t been any good the thousand other times you’ve seen it, and it’s no good now, either. Nice ordinary folk terrorized by eeeevil bad guys? Check. Idiotic behavior on the part of absolutely everyone? Check. And still the script needs to invent more idiocy to try to make it all hang together? Check. Imagine if Bo and Luke Duke tried to write a Southern gothic, and you might end up with Transit, in which Jim Caviezel (Deja Vu) is driving his wife (Elisabeth Röhm: Abduction) and sons through somewhere hot, sticky, and bayou-y when a gang of armored-car thieves decide to hide their bag o’ loot among the camping gear atop the family SUV. (There’s roadblocks and a few deeply questionable law-enforcement tactics erected to compel that bit of nonsense and others. Unless it’s supposed to be some sort of commentary on how the American police state is now accepted without so much as a shrug from anyone. But, no: it’s not that.) And so Caviezel’s attempts to reconnect with his family — he’s been away, you see — are constantly interrupted by the attempts of the bad guys — led by James Frain (Water for Elephants) — to get their money back. Director Antonio Negret apparently strove to ensure that his film looks cheap, but that would be forgivable if Michael Gilvary’s script wasn’t so desperately stupid when it isn’t psychologically risible. Favorite bad bits: 1) The bad guys have a reasonable plan in place to reclaim their dough and then, without discussion or discernible reason, they’re suddenly doing something entirely different. 2) The explanation for Caviezel’s being away is that he went to prison for real estate fraud, like that happens these days. It’s so ridiculous that even the dumb script has to invent a semi-plausible explanation for it (which is still laughable). 3) The badass gator that keeps hovering around in the background and then never gets to eat anybody, not even a bad guy who deserves it. What a tease.


Watch Transit online via Amazon Instant Video.


US/Canada release date: May 11 2012 (VOD same day) | UK release date: Apr 20 2012

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated BB: bad on the bayou
MPAA: rated R for violence and terror, pervasive language and brief teen drug use
BBFC: rated 15 (contains strong language, bloody violence and threat)

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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