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Overall Rating
3.79

Awesome: 19.61%
Worth A Look52.94%
Just Average: 17.65%
Pretty Crappy: 6.86%
Sucks: 2.94%

7 reviews, 60 user ratings


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Joy Ride
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"A thriller in which none of the characters is stupid? Hmm. How odd."
4 stars

It is a joy to watch “Joy Ride,” a thriller that appears fresh not by breaking the rules but by actually following them. Since most thrillers ignore matters of logic, character and pacing, “Joy Ride” is an innovation because it doesn’t.

It’s about a college student named Lewis (Paul Walker) who, while on a road trip, becomes reacquainted with his estranged brother Fuller (Steve Zahn). The two haven’t had much to do with each other in recent years, but they get along well enough. Fuller is promising to clean himself up and be a little more responsible.

He takes a step or two backward, though, when he installs a CB radio -- “a prehistoric Internet” -- in Lewis’ car and convinces Lewis to help him play pranks with it. Lewis adopts a falsetto voice and tells a gruff-sounding trucker called “Rusty Nail” that he’s a gorgeous woman named Candy Cane who is waiting to meet him at a Wyoming motel.

They give him the number of the room next to theirs so they can peer through the window at the hilarity when he shows up and is met by someone who has no idea what’s going on. Alas, Rusty Nail nearly kills the guy. Next thing you know, he’s calling for Candy Cane on the radio and hunting down the guys responsible for embarrassing him. Let the deadly games of cat-and-mouse begin!

The most noticeable thing about “Joy Ride” is its sense of humor: It has one, and it’s not ironic. Casting Steve Zahn in a lead role was good thinking, but the script (by Clay Tarver and Jeffrey Abrams) is full of funny lines anyway, and none of them is about scary movies. No self-referential, post-”Scream” dialogue about how characters in movies always act, or how the bad guys are never as dead as you think they are. The humor is here because the characters are like real people, who crack jokes sometimes and get scared other times.

While most horror films are fueled by a protagonist doing something stupid that no real person would ever do, Fuller and Lewis get into their situation here rather innocently. Their subsequent behavior is logical, too, which makes the whole thing infinitely scarier. This isn’t a nightmare that could only happen to movie morons. This is something that could happen to smart people like us, too!

Let us also remember this lesson: The less you see of the bad guy, the more frightening he is. This movie knows that.

Steve Zahn’s wit and nice-guy energy go without saying, and Paul Walker delivers a likable performance as his brother. Leelee Sobieski remains winsome and pleasant, too, as Lewis’ semi-platonic female friend. The trio are a fine ensemble.

Director John Dahl (”Rounders”) maneuvers a snappy U-turn halfway through, where the crisis apparently is averted, but we know better. And then there are a few scenes that would seem irrelevant, except that they’re so much fun. When the action picks up again, we’re not surprised, but we weren’t tapping our feet impatiently, either.

The film’s only downfall is its last 10 seconds. Unsatisfied with a crackerjack movie and a solid conclusion, they had to throw in an unoriginal “twist” that hurts more than it helps. A movie this clever and fun should have had more confidence in itself. Aside from those final 10 seconds, it’s up there among the most enjoyable thrillers in recent memory.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4629&reviewer=247
originally posted: 09/28/01 19:49:19
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User Comments

12/18/10 chaotik tom Absolutly brilliant! Loved every minute! A must see! 5 stars
4/11/09 Dane Youssef Finally! A worthwhile teen thriller! If "Duel" or "Jeepers Creepers" had actually worked! 5 stars
2/01/09 Pankaj Saksena It was a regular American Highway Thriller... but the ending was real confusing 3 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was Awesome!! Loved It. 5 stars
8/13/08 PAUL SHORTT ITS EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE AND GETS GREAT MILEAGE ON AND OFF THE HIGHWAY 3 stars
10/19/07 Total Crap Brutal. The ending was confusing and there should've been a sequel by now. 4 stars
3/27/07 Stanley Thai A suspensful thriller that doesn't insult your intelligence. 4 stars
1/27/07 David Pollastrini great action with a few comedy bits 4 stars
7/12/06 Agent Sands No Last Seduction or Kill Me Again, but it passes. 4 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Suspense thriller with all the fun of a road movie 4 stars
6/17/05 Indrid Cold A surprisingly good thriller. This will become one of those forgotten gems. 4 stars
6/20/04 Dick Logan one of the worst films ever made!! Script and acting were pitiful!! 1 stars
6/14/04 Dr. Lecter A nerve-racking little gem of a thriller 4 stars
6/02/04 R.W. Welch Mad trucker flick strains credulity but is still fun. Neatly directed. 4 stars
3/20/04 mans0n really entertaining throughout 4 stars
12/11/03 Jaron more awesome than scary... 4 stars
12/06/03 Micheal One of the greatest thrillers i've probably ever saw! 5 stars
11/03/03 American Slasher Goddess One of the best on the road thrillers in a long time. 4 stars
9/30/03 Samuel Justus A decent little horror film! 4 stars
9/17/03 HUGH not scary not anything 1 stars
9/15/03 Charles Tatum Well done, I could watch Sobieski's Leelees all day long 4 stars
9/13/03 J An addrelidine rush! 4 stars
8/12/03 adrian true funny, scary, likable characters 5 stars
6/19/03 Jenny Tullwartz Unspeakable horror, roadtrip cliches, lame acting, dumb teens - this flick has it all! 3 stars
5/27/03 Scott Howard I Loved it !!! 5 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink One of the best entertainig and exciting edge-of-your-seat thrillers of the last 5 years 5 stars
3/10/03 me GREAT 5 stars
3/08/03 Jack Sommersby A high-voltage, unnerving thriller. Dahl's command of the medium is admirable. 4 stars
1/23/03 Lisa Blundell A very scary, hide-your-face-behind-a-pillow movie. Very humorous too!! 5 stars
10/07/02 rita WHAT HAPPENED IN THE END?????!!!?? I DONT GET IT 4 stars
10/05/02 John McNew A more effective chiller than 2001 summer's "The Others" 4 stars
9/08/02 gary roberts I really didnt get the end... what happened? anyone care to explain? thanks 4 stars
8/04/02 KMG DID ANYONE UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED IN THE END? WAS THE ICEMAN THE KILLER?OR THE FAT FUCK? 4 stars
8/02/02 Matthew Smith gripping from start to finish, a seat gliching thriller 4 stars
7/24/02 palaboy101 Reminded me of "Jeepers Creepers". You must see it on DVD... 4 alternate endings! 4 stars
6/17/02 Film Dude No Andrew, THIS MOVIE DID NOT HAVE CHEAP FUCKING THRILLS AND OVER-DONE ENDING. MORON. 4 stars
4/18/02 OH BILLY!!!!!!!!!!!! its awsome 5 stars
3/30/02 Film Guy Great Movie. not like other horror movies 5 stars
3/22/02 Andrew Carden Cheap Thrills, Average Performances, Over-Done Ending...Pretty Average Film. 3 stars
3/22/02 The Bomb 69 most thriller films have stupid characters, this one was real and the ending was awesome!! 5 stars
3/19/02 Spyguy2 Makes "The Hitcher" look like Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"...avoid at all costs. Trust me. 1 stars
3/14/02 NWO4LIFE Entertaining and thrilling, but it played it a little too safe. One of them should've died. 4 stars
3/05/02 Jenny Tullwartz Unspeakable horror, roadtrip cliches, lame acting, dumb teens - this flick has it all! 3 stars
12/24/01 ryan starts out good but quickly turns into crap 2 stars
12/14/01 Flora(szflora@matavnet.hu) I love this movie!Steve and Paul are very sexy!:)) 5 stars
12/02/01 natasha very good worth the time 5 stars
11/28/01 Kelly i'm buyin the video just for that beautiful scene of Paul Walkers ASS! 5 stars
11/21/01 daniboy very enjoyable. scary enough. steve zahn is funny as hell 5 stars
11/01/01 Gay Tooth Fairy lots of fun. Ted Levine has a great villain voice. 4 stars
11/01/01 pipeman Great fun. It deserved to do better at the box office. Look for this movie and see it. 5 stars
10/21/01 Greyjack Very good flick.Steve Zahn kicked ass again. The guy's got two solid movies out this month. 4 stars
10/17/01 Sarah Regelin Awesome movie, it was soo scary Paul Walker is so good looking 5 stars
10/14/01 Schmidty72 100 times better than Jeepers Creepers. If you like "Duel", then you'll like this flick. 4 stars
10/14/01 Geebo A fun movie, very entertaining. 5 stars
10/13/01 specialK good stuff - have to suspend reality for some scenes 4 stars
10/12/01 Black Sheep Eric Snider said it exactly. Unusually level-headed, w/laughs and scares. & Paul Walker =^) 5 stars
10/11/01 Connor Dueck suspensful as hell. if only all new thrillers could be this good 4 stars
10/10/01 masin wolliams VERY SIMPLE AND EASY TO SWALLOW PLOT, LOOKS LIKE A MADE FOR TV MOVIE. MINDLESS BUT FUN 3 stars
10/09/01 GIBBO A great romp - more funny than suspenseful - but a great movie all the same. 4 stars
10/07/01 Chuck and Fran All the characters reactions in the movie were believable. Comparable to "Duel" by Spielber 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Oct-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Jul-2002


Directed by
  John Dahl

Written by
  Clay Tarver
  Jeffrey Abrams

Cast
  Leelee Sobieski
  Steve Zahn
  Matthew Kimbrough
  Brien Varady
  Paul Walker
  Jim Beaver



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