Reviewed by: Gregg Groninger
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Affleck, Toni Collette, Sydney Pollack, William Hurt | Directed by: Roger Michell | Produced by: Scott Rudin | Written by: Michael Tolkin, Chap Taylor, Anthony Picharillo | Distributor: Paramount Pictures
“Changing Lanes” is a dark and introspective movie about anger and conscience. It starts off with an interstate fender-bender between an alcoholic insurance salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) and a Wall Street lawyer (Ben Affleck).
Both men are late for appointments. Gavin Baneck (Affleck) leaves behind an important folder with the only documents in a fraud case against his firm. Doyle Gibson (Jackson) is left stranded and late for his child custody court date. Such incidents set off a vengeful day in which each man tries to one-up the other, finding themselves ultimately searching their souls for their own morality’s response. But what happens in real life often doesn’t reflect what we morally know should be done.
Christians will notice some great potential for discussion about our own morality, and the fact that we as humans often come up short. For example, Gavin, after walking away from his sabotaged car, finds himself in a church confessional. The priest talks to Gavin as he looks for the meaning of life and how to find happiness. I waited for the priests’ answer but Gavin threw a fit and left unfulfilled.
The acting in “Changing Lanes” is quite good, reminding me of Michael Douglas’ “Falling Down”. The profanity is average, but be warned that there are several instances of the Lord’s name being taken in vain.
Editor’s Note: If used as a discussion starter for a look at morality, you may want to become familiar with the approach that Ray Comfort uses in his article “Am I good enough to go to Heaven?” Also, apologist Daryl Witmer tells an interesting story of a conversation he had with a hospitalized cancer victim who is brought to the place where he examines his own morality and considers “How good is good enough in light of a perfect God?.”