A pointless cautionary tale in B-movie form, this picture affords its attractive players a workout without giving viewers a thrill. Luke (Eric Mabius), a racetrack pit-crew mechanic, embarks on a cross-country odyssey from Michigan to California, where a new job awaits, with his wife, Nicky (Marley Shelton), and their baby son in tow. The frugal travelers find themselves passing through some of America's worst speed traps and hellholes. In Texas, gas station owner/cheap labor smuggler Dean (Bill Sage), rips off the couple's meager savings and then pretends to be the desperate Luke's pal, offers him employment in the fast-growing field of illegal alien transport. Nicky gets a gig as a waitress, while Luke works as Dean's fast-car driver, risking jail or worse. Dean makes a play for Nicky, who wants to get out of town, but Luke proves so useful that Dean wants to keep him around Despite stern warnings from the border patrol's Captain Elias (R. Lee Ermey), Luke is seduced by the promise of easy money until he sees Dean deliberately condemn a bunch of unmarketable workers to deaths by transporting them in a toxic-chemical boxcar. Luke realizes he's just as expendable, and the situations becomes tense when the border police crack down on Dean's enterprise and suspects that Luke snitched him out. Luke wants to break free, but with Dean holding Luke and Nicky's infant hostage, that's not as easy as it sounds. This warning about the perils of motoring on the cheap wants to scare the pants off viewers but barely skims the surface of its own premise. Neither Kevin Frech's script nor Michael Oblowitz's direction delivers enough sleazy thrills or suspense to push the film beyond an atmosphere of vague unease.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: R
- Review: A pointless cautionary tale in B-movie form, this picture affords its attractive players a workout without giving viewers a thrill. Luke (Eric Mabius), a racetrack pit-crew mechanic, embarks on a cross-country odyssey from Michigan to California, where a n… (more)