The open road. What better way to see America and get in touch with yourself than to drive cross country through countless miles of empty desert? Well, according to “Interstate” it’s also a great place to get stranded, kidnapped, blackmailed, and killed. But don’t let that spoil your next road trip.
Edgar and his girlfriend Chloe are on their way from Montreal to Los Angeles because Chloe got an audition for a sitcom, and everyone knows how good your chances are when auditioning in LA. So the couple buy a used car and pack up for their new lives out west. Unfortunately, their car has other plans and calls it quits in Nevada. The two only have enough money for one bus ticket so it’s LA for Chloe and a long hitchhike for Edgar.
Luckily enough Edgar is soon picked up by a shady, pill popping character who likes to talk vaguely about his “business”, and this is where the journey really begins. From here on out Edgar will be exposed to death, drugs, deception, despair, and other nefarious words that start with ‘d’ as he tries to make his way back to Chloe.
Shiloh Fernandez stars as Edgar and is adequate if a bit bland. He could be Joaquin Phoenix’s younger brother if you just stripped away all the things that make Joaquin Phoenix interesting. Edgar is a good guy and you want to root for him but it becomes increasingly difficult as the film goes on. The movie is actually less about the dangers of hitchhiking and more about the dangers of having no will power. Edgar could have avoided nearly every bad situation he gets in if he would have just said no. Instead, he just weakly protests until the other person bats their eyelashes and says, “Aww, come on.”
The movie is surprisingly polished and features some impressive CGI for such a low budget film. This isn’t too surprising when you consider that director Marc-Andre Samson has worked on the visual effects of such films as “The Chronicles of Narnia”, “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”, and “Terminator 3”. The CGI is used primarily to construct gas stations and restaurants that humorously satire American culture. One restaurant features a giant, battered Jesus holding a Burger on his shoulders like Atlas and an Uncle Sam gas station proudly proclaims to sell gas and guns.
If this dark humor was more prevalent in the film, it could have been really great. As it stands, however, “Interstate” is an enjoyable, if not exactly essential, flick.