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Highway
DVD disk
10.05.2004 By: The Arrow
Highway order
Director:
James Cox

Actors:
Jared Leto
Jake Gyllenhaal
Selma Blair

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After getting caught nailing some powerful dude’s slutty wife, white trash Jack (Leto) aka “The God of Fuck” convinces his white trash stoner homey Pilot (Gyllenhaal) to flee with him via car to Seattle to hide out from the bitter husband’s henchmen who want to break his feet (that’s out of line, yo). On the way there, they get in all kinds of whacked-out situations, do lots of illegal substances and pick up hot-to-trot white trash Cassie (Blair) for the ride. Friendships, love, lust, ecstasy, a Crocodile Boy…shite…drop the tablet and let the trip begin!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I had never heard of this flick before and to be honest, the box cover didn’t really inspire me. It smelled like a bad straight-to-video B crap fest. The only glimmer of hope that I had in regards to the film being somewhat enjoyable was its three solid name stars. Well, what a sweet, smack my bootie surprise this baby wound up being. Only after the film was over did I notice that screenwriter extraordinaire Scott Rosenberg ("Beautiful Girls") had penned it. Now the movie isn’t totally original, I mean how many road trips opus' are out there? Maybe too many. But the approach and the talent behind the picture made sure to deliver the familiar elements in a novel and surprisingly emotionally layered way. If a mix of "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas", "Thelma and Louise" and "Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure" sounds appealing to you, down this drink with mucho salt and lime.

The flick is a little schizophrenic but that’s part of its charm. The first 20 minutes felt like a bent comedy with eccentric characters and laugh-inducing situations. The bulk of the story felt like a beat poet type druggie flick with heavy handed directing, existential dialogue and wilder than wild things going down. And the finale of the picture, emphasized its themes of friendship, love and one’s search for purpose on this odd planet. Now the film is definitely side-splitting funny but amidst the Crocodile Boy, the violent drag queens, the fun times whore house, the homemade convertible (cracked my arse up) and the ecstasy trips, lies very strong messages that will resonate with teenagers and anybody who remembers being a teenager.

Tag to that some solid acting from all (Gyllenhaal and Leto have awesome chemistry and Blair communicates so much through stillness), some off the wall supporting characters (Jeremy Piven gives one of the craziest monologues that I’ve ever heard and John C. McGinley is flat out hilarious as the aging hippie), some witty dialogue, a quick pace, a vigil for the dead Kurt Cobain (yeah, you heard me) and flashy directing (the man sure knows how to shoot a drug trip, I felt high watching it) and you get a fun/engaging time at the movies. This one puts the trip back in the term road-trip. Get ready to buzz.
THE EXTRAS
What do you mean nothing? Not even the goddamn trailer??? Come on! We do get an Animated Menu…somebody is lazy….
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Rare are films that manage to balance comedy and drama effectively. "Highway" manages to pull it off. Sure, the DVD is bare bones but the film itself makes it worth the trip. What starts off like a movie that seems to be about one-dimensional losers doing stupid things, winds up being about endearing/layered characters, funny and simultaneously deep situations and the ever-universal theme of love, true friendship and one’s search for oneself. It made me think but entertained me big-time at the same time. Jared Leto’s haircut is worth the price of rental alone. Get the car, get the brewskies and hit this undiscovered "Highway". It’s a ride and a half.
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