V Goes On a Wild RIDE Through the Streets of LA!!!
I loved this movie. It is the kind of movie I miss. Short, sweet, fast and intense!
The premise for the film is beautifully simple. An actor, James, waiting for his big break spends his nights picking up passengers through an Uber-like ride-sharing service. In these types of films, it is all about the characters that the drivers pick up. In this case, the first is the funny and beautiful Jessica, played by an always interesting and talented Bella Thorne ("Assassination Nation", "The Babysitter" etc… more on her later). When James drops her off at her destination Jessica invites him to join her for an innocent night hanging out having a few drinks with friends. He, unfortunately, declines and proceeds to pick up the increasingly psychopathic Bruno (played by "The OA" and "The Marvelous Ms. Maisel"s Will Brill) that convinces James to go back and pick up Jessica where the night escalates to absolute insanity.
Like I said. The premise is simple. What manages to elevate this film to a higher degree of cinematic revelry is the performances. The performances are OUTSTANDING. This film has a dynamic that almost borders on theater without all the constraints of a stage. For all of the drama and intensity, this is truly just a character piece about three people. Three people on one intense night in the streets of LA. One with a broken heart dragging the other two along in a "misery loves company" night of "NO truth and ALL dare" by gunpoint. Each playing their parts brilliantly in a script that feels like it was written for each of them to show off their acting chops. Seriously, this is one hell of a demo reel if nothing else for all involved.
It is interesting how once Jessica is picked up and united with James and Bruno, there are never really any good choices to be made for any of those involved. Without getting into spoilers, there are only a couple of moments where there are any true ways out and the characters don't necessarily take them. The extremely exciting screenplay and direction by Jeremy Ungar wrote a film that was meant to take your breath away.
The stand out in this film is without a doubt, Bella Thorne. After this performance, I do not see how she will not be getting top billing in some of Hollywood's most sought-after properties. The woman is a star. Period. I very much mean this in the Scarlet Johansson sense rather than the Meryl Streep sense, but who knows. She definitely showed more range in this film than I have ever seen from her before. Maybe Bella Thorne is the real deal all around.
With all the positive, I will say there were a couple moments where the film felt a little too referential, but it was almost charming. Almost. It is these moments that the film is less than perfect, but they are few and far between.
I can say, that I truly loved every minute of "Ride"s short 77-minute runtime. It left me wanting more and more. I can ask nothing more from a film.
The film releases on Blu-Ray and DVD December 4th, 2018.
V Versus the World