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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

The Hitcher (review)

To pick up strangers, or not to pick up strangers. That is the question, and there is no right answer here, for whether one is cruel bastard who leaves a broken-down motorist out in the rain or one is a kindly godfearing family man who does that needful motorist a good deed, one will be targeted equally for gruesome bodily torture and psychological terrorizing by Sean Bean (Flightplan), in one of the greatest examples of poor choice of work on the part of any actor, ever. What starts off as mind-blowingly idiotic, with dumb characters doing stupid things — like informing the bad guy “I’ve got a gun!” instead of just using the damn thing — rapidly spirals into wanton sadism. When Bean’s psycho hitchhiker throws a car at our teenage-wastelander “heroes” (Sophia Bush: Supercross: The Movie, and Zachary Knighton), the film is irreversibly lost, and it’s only half over at that point. After that, this aggressively nauseating flick delights in carefully and specifically manipulating the plot, cheating at every step of the way, into a situation in which vigilantism is the only response. This isn’t a commentary on the breakdown of law and order, of civil society itself — it’s a symptom of it.

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MPAA: rated R for strong bloody violence, terror and language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
  • Shadowen

    I’ve always deplored the typecasting of Sean Bean as the villain/sword-or-bullet fodder. Even when he’s not one, he’s the other. Such as when he turns out to be a good guy in Equilibrium, but is killed in the first fifteen minutes.

    Similarly, I don’t even know if he would have accepted the role if offerred, but Christopher Lee would have been a much better Dumbledore than even Richard Harris, IMHO.

  • He *throws* … a *car*???

  • MaryAnn

    An SUV, actually, if I recall correctly. (I’m trying desperately to forget the film.) And not only do those things get really shitty gas mileage, they sting like a bitch when they land on you.

  • Paul Weissman

    It’s another example of studios remaking a decent genre film and turning into a pile of cliches. The original was filled with dread and the violence was brutal and emotionally affecting. And Rutger Hauer played the title character, nuff said there. It wasn’t a pleasant film but it wasn’t meant to be.

    Pretty soon they’ll remake Rosemary’s Baby with Lindsay Lohan and Freddie Prinze Jr.

  • Paulo

    Is this a remake of a really good 1980’s The Hitcher starring Hutger Hauer?

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