film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ride 2018 * * * Stars

RideDirector: Jeremy Ungar
Year: 2018
Rated NR
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Bella Thorne, Jessie Usher, Will Brill

An Uber driver named James who's also a striving actor, picks up two passengers. One is an attractive girl he fancies and the other is a screw loose killer out on a grandstanding power trip. Later on, these disparate strangers all wind up in the same car together with chaos ensuing. That's the gist of 2018's Ride, my latest review. In truth, I became extremely enthusiastic about Ride because it did affect me (especially the pic's first and second act). After seeing it, you yourself might think twice about pursuing a career in peer-to-peer, road-sharing.

Released at a running time of 79 minutes when all you really want is more cinematic cowbell, Ride is like an independent film version of Collateral coupled with pop jams akin to last year's Baby Driver (look out for the .44 Magnum, Taxi Driver reference as well). With Ride, rookie director Jeremy Ungar concocts a seething little flick that feels dangerous and visibly chancy from the opening frame. He careens with long takes and effectively uses the darkened, silhouetted streets of LA as his swallowing backdrop. Kudos also goes out to Austrian Paul Haslinger for his contribution to Ride's brilliantly numbing, techno soundtrack.

Image result for ride 2018 movie scenesSo yeah, Ride's villain Bruno (played with gusto by Will Brill) doesn't have a lot of motive or reason for being such a souped-up whack job. And yes, Ride's abrupt coda, spur, and close-packed editing leaves you with a few more questions than answers. Still, this movie has the performances, pacing, and macabre to sort of hit you in the gut. Ride despite being just a snippet of thriller/drama greatness, still gets your pulse racing (no pun intended). Oh and you'll never hear R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" the same way in the near future (again no pun intended). My rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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