Stars: ** 1/2
Rating: R for language and mature themes
Run Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
introspective, “Road” is a safe and predictable platform for a pair of
Fate shows off
its bleak side when two men’s futures collide in unforeseen tragedy. Ethan
Learner (Joaquin Phoenix) and his young family are en route from a summer concert
when they pull over at a
The impact is
sudden and unexpected. In a split second of sheer panic
Leaving ruin in his wake. Learner and his devastated wife Grace (Jennifer Connelly) can’t put their grief and confusion behind them, especially when local law enforcement appears to be losing interest in their baffling hit-and-run.
Desperate for closure and a swift (cruel?) justice, Learner as vigilante hires a lawyer to continue the investigation. The film’s second morbid twist (no spoilers!) heaps coincidence upon coincidence.
If there’s any
pleasure to be wrung from the narrative’s tragic circumstances it’s the
opportunity to watch
All told “Road” should be compelling theater, deconstructing psychology rich concepts of loss and consequence. But as directed by Terry George (“Hotel Rwanda”) it’s surprisingly one dimensional, a semi-absorbing but ultimately tiresome waiting game with protagonists -- one angry, one scared -- circling each other with the wariness of hunter and prey.
Elle Fanning as Learner’s daughter Emma proves once and for all that there are authentic thesp genes in the Fanning (think Dakota) household but bottom line this one for the “Road”.