Family road trips are an enjoyable time of bonding, playing games, talking about life, or just enjoying the scenery–but not with this family in the movie End Of The Road. Here, we join a family road trip movie with life-threatening moments peppered all over a mediocre plot with average acting.
The film starts off with the main character Brenda, played by Queen Latifah, who is a recent widow forced to move her family to Texas due to financial reasons. Going along for the ride is her daughter Kelly, played by Mychala Lee, son Cameron, played by Shaun Dixon, and her brother Reggie, played by Ludacris. All are still hurting from the pain from the death of Jake, Brenda’s husband, and quite hesitant on leaving, but nonetheless they push through.
The excitement starts when they reach a gas station, where they get into trouble when Kelly gives the finger to two rednecks catcalling her. They chase them down the highway, bumping their car and eventually blocking the road. Brenda was forced to humiliate herself in an effort to make the rednecks leave them alone and surely enough it worked and they continue along. They spend the night at a motel, only to be greeted by another chaos as shooting happens in the area. Being a nurse, Brenda helps the man who got shot, but he ends up dying, leaving them with a bag of stolen money. This explains the subsequent mysterious calls to Brenda from someone she doesn’t know, and why a certain police captain Hammers was trying to get them to come back for their “safety.” The family starts arguing about what to do with the money, but eventually they decide to return it.
The next series of events is where it really zigzags its way through themes and focus–the movie starts on a relatively mild note about a family moving to Houston, then turns to becomes a crime thriller replete with car chases and kidnapping for ransom. The family goes back and forth trying to save each other, with eventually everyone but Brenda getting kidnapped by Captain Hammers, which was revealed to be Mr. Cross–a predictable reveal considering how persistent he was at finding them.
The acting was okay. Props for delivering at least the bare minimum of what the film needed to be okay. Queen Latifah and the others played their roles quite well, collectively giving a pretty good portrayal of a family. The scenes with arguments and togetherness in prayer and laughs were on point. It could be summed up that it’s really the plot that goes south for this movie. It gives you just enough story coherence to keep you glued. The car chases and gun scenes are definitely exciting, but they could probably have been executed a little better during the production.
The film does venture into sensitive portrayals, like the fact that the rednecks are portrayed on this movies as incredibly racist and extremely violent people. Even Hammers and his wife are psychopaths. It just seems so out of place for the nature of the movie. Then there’s the lighting at the ending chase scene which was purple. Why was it purple? Is there a message that I failed to get from the end scene? I guess I’ll never know, must be the end of the road for me for this movie. Ba dum tss. /VT
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