Reviewed by: Eric Scott Robertson
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
“Joy Ride” is a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller movie with a lot of action, and I loved it. This film is about two college-age brothers, Lewis and Fuller Thomas (Paul Walker and Steve Zahn), who take a road trip across beautiful Wyoming to pick up their girl friend Venna (Leelee Sobieski). What starts out as an innocent prank on their newly-installed CB radio turns deadly as the boys realize that they are being stalked by a madman trucker seeking revenge for their practical joke. The film depicts the gut-wrenching chase through Wyoming and Nebraska as the trio hides out in hotels and truck stops. At one point they are even chased through a cornfield by the psycho in his semi truck.
Except for some incredibly unnecessary uses of the f-word, this movie is relatively clean. There are no sex scenes, though there is some nonsexual nudity (two bare male behinds) in one scene and some heavy drinking depicted in another. There is also some slight blood and gore in a couple of places, but nothing worse than you would see on “E.R.” on Thursday nights.
Paul Walker gives an extremely impressive performance and I believe we will continue to see great things from him in future productions. There were some stunning special effects in a couple of scenes, and I was impressed by both the photography and the script.
Some wholesome sentiments in this film included a familial demonstration of brotherly love as the brothers look out for each other’s safety each time they are in danger. There are also hints at sibling rivalry. (In one scene, Fuller expresses to his brother the resentment he felt toward his parents for making him feel like a failure, and in another scene Lewis and Fuller appear to be competing for Venna’s affection.)
Because of the language and some intense scenes, this movie is not for young or impressionable viewers. I don’t like hearing the f-word in movies, but in this flick I was able to get past it for the joy of the suspense. However, if foul language easily offends you, “Joy Ride” is a film best left alone.