Monday, 25 July 2011

Road Train (2010)

More evidence to support my theory about Australian films (see entry for Wake in Fright) but in itself a poor effort.  It starts well enough, with a mildly bickering quartet of Australian youngsters driving cross-country being spun off the road by an enormous lorry.  So far so DUEL but it's such a great concept that it can survive familiarity.  Unfortunately, after that ROAD TRAIN goes completely off the rails, if you'll pardon the expression.

What happens is that our heroes find the truck seemingly abandoned further up the road and, with their own car totalled, get in and drive off.  At this point the plot becomes increasingly incoherent and fragmented; it appears that the spirit of the truck (your guess is as good as mine) 'possesses' those who drive it and forces them to kill in order to obtain fuel, i.e. blood.  While all this is going on, the truck is at a standstill and, unsurprisingly, the four leads being less charismatic aren't able to carry the movie.  So it all falls apart amid some dreadful acting and lurid visuals.  The landscape looks as stunning as ever of course and there are a couple of spectacular stunts but you know the film has failed when the plot hinges on a young girl attempting to reverse a road train - and being able to do it. 

Quite what happened with this film, I don't know.  For it to fall apart so abruptly and so completely suggests that, like GHOSTKEEPER, they ran out of script, or money, or both and were obliged to make it up as they went along.  This is the debut feature from director Dean Francis, a former NEIGHBOURS actor, and it doesn't bode well for his future career behind the camera.

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