Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Shuttle isn't your garden variety thriller and it's probably one of the more unique ones I've seen in quit some time. It has some very brutal moments, it keeps you guessing and for the most part, on the edge of your seat throughout. But after the 'grand' reveal at the end, it doesn't have the emotional resonance that its supposed to mainly due to thin characterizations and the plausible yet unshocking nature of it.
The film starts off with a couple of girls getting off of their flight from Mexico. They had just spent a girls weekend catching some rays and drinking way too many adult beverages. After a quick bathroom pit stop, they bump into a couple of horn dog dudes, guys they vaguely remember meeting out at the bar the night before. A bit of small talk ensues before heading over to grab their luggage. Upon exiting the terminal, they are greated curbside by a torrential downpour and not many options for transportation back into town. They haggle with one driver for a bit and settle on another ride, the other driver offering them a lower fare. One of the guys whom they bumped into has taken a quick liking to one of the girls, persuading his buddy to jump on. Along with a nerdy looking business man anxious to get home to his wife and kids, they head out into the late night.
Things are moving along for our small group: both couples chit chatting with the overly skittish man for the most part, keeping to himself. But its not long before a flat tire derails the evening and our group suddenly realizes that the driver has taken them off the beaten path. A much shorter route to their destinations he explains. The non-hoping to score guy volunteers to replace the tire. He does so but before he can hop back on board, the jack gives way, crashing down and crushing his fingers, removing most of the digits from his left hand. As the group quickly gets back on the shuttle to get him to a hospital, our driver orders the group to sit down with gun drawn. It's apparent that he has other plans in mind.
What occurs next is a series of hopeful plots and attempts to get off the shuttle, despite numerous threats from the driver that death will come to one of them if any such attempt to escape or draw attention is made. Not much success is had despite these multiple attempts. And the closest they get is when a stop is made at a grocery store in the early morning. The result? The guy looking to score with one of the girls is brutally struck down, ran over, and re-ran over by the shuttle. One more attempt is made to leave but just when it looks like a safe escape will be made, our shy and completely gutless (he has numerous attempts himself at getting out or getting help) business man reveals himself for who he truly is.
As the film ends, our only survivors are the two girls and it's made known that there is good reason. The shuttle driver wanted them in particular. But why exactly? It's a sort of ripped from the headlines revelation, one that isn't really all too shocking or horrifying. Call me a bit desensitized I guess.
All in all, Shuttle is still an effective thriller and worth a rental. The film just didn't have any staying power with me. Coupled with the reason for all the madness, the characters are pretty superficial and it was hard to empathize with them. Not until the end, with one of our girls really taking a stand, did I begin to care at all. What say yous?
Cortez the Killer