Director Jeff Myers’ charmingly lowbrow debut feature The Ride stars Craig Boyd and Michæl Shannon as Johnny and Jimmy, a couple of potheads who valet-park cars outside an Italian restaurant in urban Chicago. “Borrowing” a tightly-wound, Jesus-freak patron’s banana-yellow Alfa Romeo convertible to make an ice cream run, they proceed to leave the keys in the ignition, where the car’s quickly heisted by a neighborhood junkie; in record time it passes through the hands of an impotent drug dealer (Richard Covetsky) and his embittered girlfriend (Soseh Kevorkian) before winding its way back to the restaurant just second’s after the vehicle’s owners finish their meal. Believe it or not, it’s from that point onward that The Ride gets really interesting, as a now-jobless Johnny and Jimmy plot to steal the same Alfa Romeo all over again. Myers’ acerbic, intermittently hilarious film wears its influences on its sleeve — its affectionate view of slave-wage malcontents and its bad-taste sensibility owe an enormous debt to Kevin Smith’s Clerks, while the corkscrew plotting and numerous pop culture references (including a debate on the sexual allure of anime heroines and an ill-conceived Godfather homage) pay slavish tribute to Quentin Tarantino. Kris Kondrad’s script possesses the crackling wit and sparkling dialogue of neither filmmaker, although The Ride does evoke the low-rent entropy of its doper milieu with genuine understanding and affection.