Stars: Scott Monahan, Dakota Loesch
‘Easy Rider’ late 60s’ disillusionment gives way to twenty-twenties’ nihilism in the punishing two-handed take on the American road movie. Dim, blue-haired twentysomething Jacob (director Monahan) and his motor-mouthed firecracker brother John (Loesch who wrote the script) are making their way from Florida to Anchorage with a truck full of stolen opioids stuffed into teddy bears. Jacob is determined to get there as soon as possible and get the job done. However, John’s erratic behaviour means that they are constantly, dangerously delayed. As they travel through the mostly deserted US landscape it quickly becomes apparent that the brothers are a pair of no-hopers heading to nowhere.
The brothers’ banter is genuinely amusing with the actors exhibiting a real fraternal rapport, even if some of the unhinged monologues Loesch has fashioned for his character feel a little self-indulgent. Fittingly, given John’s alarmingly childish temperament, he is kitted out in a kind of scuzzy red romper suit.
It’s often self-consciously hard-hitting and on-the-nose as a choral version of ‘America the Beautiful’ provides an ironic counterpoint to some druggy tomfoolery, but Monahan maintains a keen pace over its 80-minute running time and cinematographer Erin Naifeh’s rendering of the unforgiving sun-scorched locales is vividly stark and beautiful.
Ultimately, the film runs out of road and seems unsure how to wind it all up, but the journey’s the thing in a road movie and this is a stylish one.
Anchorage is released 1st September
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