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The Hitcher – Movie Review

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“One thumb up. Just keep driving.”

_ The Hitcher _
Title: The Hitcher

I wasn’t sure what to name this review. Things came to mind like, “The
Hitcher: A Documentary about stupid people”. Or maybe, “Stupid victims; Some people deserve to be shot”. “Always trust a woman’s intuition, except when she is stupid”. This film had the chance to be more than just a mindless thrasher and use its intensity and maniacal madman to make it aboveboard. But The Hitcher instead dumbed down its script with over the top gore and main characters that you find yourself done with before the 83 minutes is up. Not as bad as stalker films in the past, but still falls short of its potential.

The story line is typical. College aged couple Grace and Jim (Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton) take a drive from Texas through New Mexico on their way to spring break boozery. When they run into a mysterious Hitchhiker named John Ryder (Sean Bean) they find their journey turning into a trip to stay alive. This remake of the 1986 thriller places our young people not only running from Ryder but also the police who think they are responsible for all the victims popping up. This movie could have been over in half the time and with a much happier ending if the main characters would have just been smart instead of falling into text book slasher stupidity. But then where is the fun in that right?

Sean Bean makes a great bad guy and I almost found myself liking him more than the people I was to be pulling for. Maybe because he was the only smart character in the film. Granted he is able to always show up and figure out things that are near impossible. But I like to think he is just an above average killer. He is a thinking mans maniac. Sort of how you like Hannibal Lector even though you shouldn’t. You want to see Ryder caught, but you also have to admire his style. And after a while you have to give in to the thought that if his victims are going to be that stupid, he has no choice but to kill them. Wrong I know, but hey, it is just a movie.

The Hitcher is rated R for strong bloody violence, terror and language.
Again, the gore is not needed and takes away from the thriller aspect and makes it less thoughtful and more visual. If you are looking for something well written and clever like the Saw trilogy or as believably intense as 1997’s Breakdown and my favorite, Joy Ride, this is not the film. But if you want to jump a few times and zone out for 90 minutes it’s not a terrible movie. Just know before you go. I give The Hitcher 3 “you’re kidding me”‘s out of 5. Bottom line, good looking college kids aren’t smart enough to travel alone. I’m Matt Mungle

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts the weekly syndicated Indie Rock Radio Show Spin 180. Plus with his wife Cindy they do a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies. For additional reviews and interview clips visit the website www.mungleshow.com”

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