The 312th review!
Outside of a Brian Kelly team doing what a Brian Kelly team does against any team with a pulse, today was a good day. President Baby did some trick or treating, then we went out to dinner. After I got home from work early this morning, I decided to check out a movie that's been on my radar for a while and watched...
Route 666 (2001)
Two U.S. Marshals are escorting a witness to California while he's being hunted by some Russian criminals who want him dead. After an early shootout at a diner the marshals get some backup and to save time they decide on a shortcut, the titular Route 666 despite the road being condemned and blocked.
They run into problems early when all their tires melt on the very hot road. While they're walking around a very random and silly fight breaks out between two agents, one of the assassins catches up with them and they run into much worse than the angry killer. The lot of them are attacked by four dead men who were a part of a prison chain gang. It then becomes a battle for survival against the four dead dudes and a crooked sheriff's office.
The first thing that stood out to me is the casting for the three leads. You have Lou Diamond Phillips playing Jack La Roca, who is plagued by weird visions, Lori Petti as Steph, most famous for playing Kit in Field of Dreams but the real treat was Steven Williams playing "Rabbit," the shit talking state's witness
Williams you may recognize as Rufus from "Supernatural" or "X" from "The X-Files." Every time he's on screen he shines. He spends the entire movie bullshitting, charming, exaggerating and insulting everyone that it's an absolute treat to watch. He is so entertaining that at one point the movie started losing my interest and I wasn't sure why. Then I realized "Rabbit" hadn't been on screen for about five minutes and my attention was waning.
It's not a bad movie, but it's not too great either. I didn't care about any other character outside of Rabbit. But still, they were a mainly fun and silly ragtag group, mainly because they could all see right through Rabbit but that didn't dampen his confidence one bit. It seemed his bombastic personality was able to shine even brighter because he was traveling with a group of such straight-laced officers. Plus his explaining why he left his life of crime when he realized he was working for Russians because he "aint no commie" made me laugh out loud.
I liked the baddies well enough too. They weren't the greatest to look at, but seeing them appear through the heat waves carrying pickaxes, chains and a jackhammer was a pretty cool visual. Their back story is pretty par for the course, but they were unique. I liked how they were limited on where they could go and how they could move. It made sense and added a bit of dread for the doomed expedition anytime they had to cross the cement.
Summed up, it's a solid movie will a silly ending. It tries to be deeper than what you'd normally find in this type of film, and it didn't really land. But other than that, it's entertaining enough, but that's mainly on the strength of Steven Williams' performance. Outside of his supreme confidence in himself, I liked how the officers, who initially despised him, start to get won over by his cult of personality. I have to imagine Williams had a lot of fun in this role because he doesn't just chew the scenery, he devours it while the other characters are taking it super seriously. The movie by itself is nothing to write home about, but "Rabbit" bumps it up at least two points.
7 Dr. Chainsaws!
1 h 30 min
When Special Agents Jack (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Stephanie (Lori Petty) cut through a condemned, desolate highway known as Route 666 while tracking a suspect, they discover a danger far worse than deadly twists and turns! Years ago, a notorious chain gang was killed in a horrific roadside murder, and the highway still echoes with its brutal legacy.
Directors: William Wesley
Starring: Lori Petty, Lou Diamond Phillips, Steven Williams
Genres: Horror, Adventure, Action