A modern day, rebellious take on the Sliding Doors scenario, focusing on a young man hell-bent on getting revenge on his stepfather.
To present a film split into two halves is quite the challenge.
Sliding Doors did it with ease and it was a film that left viewers intrigued to find out what happened next – would Gwyneth Paltrow’s character find out the truth? Would she get back with her ex?
Detour follows that same premise, but with a young cast, a road trip, murder, and a police investigation - it certainly has a fresher, more exciting feel.
Our Gwyneth in this movie is Harper (Tye Sheridan), a college student trying to juggle studying for a law degree with the fact that his mother is in a coma in hospital following a serious car crash.
Not feeling comforted by his friend (Jared Abrahamson), Harper heads to a bar after class and tries to escape his problems with alcohol; though upon overhearing a conversation between a group of dodgy looking guys, little does he know that his problems are only just beginning.
Leader Johnny (Emory Cohen) catches him staring and after threatening him to a fight, he invites him to a strip club.
At the strip club, Johnny knows a dancer named Cherry (Bel Powley), who he claims to have "covered for" after she shot and killed a man.
In the comfort of the seedy bar, Harper confesses that his mother is in a coma and he blames his stepfather Vincent (Stephen Moyer) for drink driving and causing the collision which left his mum bedridden.
Sensing an opportunity to make money, Johnny offers to ‘take care’ of his stepdad – for the right sum.
Asking Harper if he would accept the chance to get rid of his mum’s husband, the screen then splits in two, with one side showing him state ‘yes’ while the other remains quiet and he doesn’t answer.
The following morning, the ‘yes’ Harper awakes to find Johnny and Cherry at his front door, ready to drive to Las Vegas to carry out the murder; but Harper, now sobering up, has lost his desire to do it and quickly turns to run back inside.
Cue the split screen again; in one scenario he closes the door behind him and confronts his stepdad about forging his mother’s signature on her will, while the other set-up sees him agreeing to the road trip and taking off with his two new acquaintances.
While there are some interesting scenes and the artful way in which it’s shot makes it easy on the eyes, Detour is just missing that extra ‘oomph’ which could make it a really exciting watch.
There’s no real ‘bad guy’ established either; Irish actor John Lynch looks quite out of place as menacing thug Frank who has the hots for Cherry, but the worst he gets in the film is throwing crystal glasses at Johnny and shouting at him not to move. At least he made an impression as the cheating ex in Sliding Doors!
There’s no real shock or surprise to be had in this film, which is a shame as it could have been so much more than just your average road trip flick.
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