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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

End of the Road 2022 * 1/2 Stars


2022's End of the Road is about a woman and her family who go on a road trip only to get caught in the crosshairs of a killer who wants his dirty moolah. Regrettably, "Road" suffers from a clear lack of suspense and malaise. It's as if Netflix decided to skip watching dailies, recycle other genre pics, and just churn out another unenthused thriller.

"Road's" co-star Ludacris acts like well, Ludacris (that means dialogue transformed into flowing, rap limericks). Another co-star in Beau Bridges, piggybacks off his brother's character in Hell or High Water while not making himself the most credible, oldtimer villain (spoiler). Only lead Queen Latifah provides enough raw and flinching capability for an audience member to take notice. Sadly her performance in End of the Road is kind of wasted to be honest.

So yeah, "Road" builds a little tension only to deflate it by playing the race card or providing comic relief or giving Latiah's momma bear Brenda almost nothing to bounce off of. The film is misguided and surprisingly idle, a sort of lukewarm version of Joyride, Breakdown, and 1971's Duel.

With "Road", we get the desert, we get the one car chase, we get the hotel room scenes, and we get the kidnapping sequence. What we don't get is a sense of foreboding because "Road's" director (Millicent Shelton) skims the surface only to bypass road trek madness and veer right into Johnson family vacation territory. If Brenda and her cubs are in any kind of danger, they certainly seem borderline rattled about the whole situation.

End of the Road provides an implausible twist and an ending that appears like an unintentional ploy to not root for its protagonist characters. Instead of fessing up and seeking legal, endorsing ramifications, they'd just assume to take the money and run. "Hoo-hoo-hoo".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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