It only takes a single life-changing moment to literally change our lives. In Adam Marino’s thriller, The Ride, the life we lived will define the direction life will ultimately take. Angela (Savannah Jockel) has overcome incredible odds in her lifetime. Abandoned by her mother as a toddler and regularly abused by the nuns at school, Angela seemingly has life put together. Today, she works as a paralegal for the slightly shady Mr. Epps (Emre Orun), and she is pregnant with her troubled yet loving boyfriend, Laz (Mark Justice).
Angela’s life takes a dramatic turn. While distracted by a call from Mr. Epps, Angela hits a young boy with her car and then drives away…hit and run. No one was around, so Angela keeps it a secret. Her guilt and pressure comes to a head after dinner with her best friend, Sharon (Traci L. Newman) and her perfect husband Mark (Dean Cain). Soon Laz falls apart when Mark’s perfect life is flaunted in his face.
As the report of the boy’s death hits the news, in an act of desperation, Angela runs away. Even after frequent calls from Laz, Sharon, and Mark, Angela decides that she is better off on her own. Now she’s on the run from the cops, pregnant, and heading to who knows where.
The Ride is a story about running away. There are a few logical holes in the story, but we’re here to ask the question, “Can you truly run away from your problems?” We’re not talking about the practical answer, but the emotional ones.
“As the report of the boy’s death hits the news, in an act of desperation, Angela runs away.”
As Angela, Savanah Joeckel carries the emotional weight of the film, where the abandonment of her past weighs heavy on the decisions she makes on her journey. The Ride is Angela’s odyssey across the country, meeting people along the way who remind her of her past or give a glimpse into her future. One such person is Papa Paulie, played by the incredible Paul Sorvino. He’s a restaurant owner who gives Angela a little insight into living and existing today. D.B. Sweeney is a gas station attendant who shows a bit of compassion with this less-than-hygienic gas station bathroom.
Ultimately, story wins out for The Ride. Savanah Joeckel gives a stellar performance with a supporting cast that a bit of a mixed bag. Dean Cain is always great and Paul Sorvino never phones anything in. The minor roles are filled with actors trying to get their acting reps in and the quality of acting leaves a lot to be desired.
Angela’s journey is also long and dark…very dark, which needs to be broken up with moments of hope and light along the way. Yes, they are there, but like a good song, they have to be placed at the right moments to carry the audience to the next low point for the protagonist…in my humble opinion.
The Ride is an insightful and thrilling ride into the mind of someone who’s about to lose everything good in their life, as running has a way of only delaying the inevitable and, with each passing minute, makes the situation worse.
For screening information, visit The Ride official website.
"…an insightful and thrilling ride into the mind of someone who's about to lose everything..."