Friday, July 30, 2010

Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead

2001’s thriller Joy Ride, about a sadistic truck driver who went by the handle of Rusty Nail (who notably killed people while pulling their lower jaw completely off) was a competently put together picture directed by John Dahl, and I suppose it was inevitable a sequel would be made. The only problem was, Rusty Nail died at the end of the movie, so it was impossible to continue the story. Who am I kidding? The sequel, Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead, just ignores the end of the first and puts Rusty Nail back on the highway, terrorizing anyone in his path, without regard for the original.

Melissa (Nikki Aycox), Bobby (Nick Zano) and Kayla (Laura Jordan) are driving across the country to Las Vegas for Melissa and Nick’s bachelor/bachelorette party. Along the way, they pick up Laura’s date, Emo Kid Nik (Kyle Schmid) whose function in the movie is to be the most annoying and stupid person in the world. He handles that well. When their car breaks down on an isolated road, Nik breaks into a nearby empty house and they steal a car. The group has the best intentions of returning it and paying for damages, but wouldn’t you know it, the house belongs to ‘ol Rusty Nail. Pretty soon, he’s chasing the kids, Bobby is taken captive, the rest of the group are forced to do dreadful things to try and get him back, and we are into some good old ho-hum torture porn.

This is one of those movies that rely on the characters to possess no common sense whatsoever. RN forces the group to destroy their cell phones and tells them not to contact the police, which they don’t do even though they know where he lives and the cops can find out who he is. Admittedly, if they behaved rationally, the movie would have ended immediately but still.

All in all, though, it’s reasonably well done for what it is. The cast does a good job with their limited roles, and the direction is solid. If you have a yen for the torture porn aspect of the genre, and you can ignore the illogical aspects of the story, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy this as a popcorn movie. Don’t expect too much, and you won’t be disappointed.

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