The Hitcher

The Hitcher

1.0 out of 51.0 out of 51.0 out of 51.0 out of 5 1.0

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Even in 1986, The Hitcher‘s cautionary tale about the perils of picking up roadside strangers—a rebuke to the preceding flower-power generation’s trusting altruism—was largely outdated, its point having already been made more forcefully a full decade earlier by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. At least music video vet Dave Myers’s remake is smart enough to recognize that only nitwit 20-year-olds and devout Christian families might still be liable to offer hitchhikers a ride, though that acknowledgement doesn’t stop this Michael Bay-produced update from being just as wholesale ridiculous as its source material, which itself is chiefly memorable for letting Rutger Hauer furiously fly his psycho freak flag. For this do-over, Sean Bean turns out to be a suitable Hauer replacement, as the blond Englishman is similarly adept at cold-hearted, sadistic nastiness, yet his madman’s supernatural villainy is the prime component in the film’s across-the-board nonsensicality. Abercrombie-sexy couple Jim (Zachary Knighton) and Grace (Sophia Bush) have their Spring Break vacation ruined after reluctantly giving a lift to stranded motorist John Ryder (Bean), who quickly establishes himself as a monster intent on tormenting the duo—and slaughtering any cop that gets in his way—until they agree to kill him. Or, at least, that’s what Ryder’s motive seems to be, since the screenplay’s overriding preoccupation with setting up implausible scenarios via moronic character behavior prevents it from ever properly explaining what Ryder’s problem is. The fiend repeatedly accomplishes unbelievable feats of evil while Jim and Grace make every wrong decision afforded by their situation, a state of affairs that, despite Myers’s jolt tactics, leads to no scares but to a couple of lunatic set pieces, the finest of which finds Ryder taking out three patrol cars and a police helicopter with a single handgun while driving a black Trans Am to the sound of Nine Inch Nails’s “Closer.” Nonetheless, the slickly shot film’s scripting is so deliberately illogical and its performances are so blandly forgettable that it almost makes one miss the original’s C. Thomas Howell…if, that is, it were humanely possible to miss C. Thomas Howell.

Buy
DVD
Distributor
Rogue Pictures
Runtime
84 min
Rating
R
Year
2007
Director
Dave Myers
Screenwriter
Eric Red, Jake Wade Wall, Eric Bernt
Cast
Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Neal McDonough