aka SCENIC ROUTE
Directed by Kevin and Michael Goetz
Childhood friends Mitchell and Carter are on a road trip when their old Ford pickup truck breaks down on a quiet road in the desert. With no phone signal and lack of communication, the duo have no option but to wait and flag down a passer-by… that’s if someone does happen to drive down the isolated road.
Under the heat of the sun, the stranded friends reach breaking point as they tear into each other about how the other’s life has turned out. With night setting in, a lack of food and water, and the desert chill creeping upon them, the elements aren’t the only threat to the duo’s survival, but also each other.
WRECKED is an amazing buddy-cum-road movie thriller that will appeal to many of the viewers with core subjects they can relate to. When their car breaks down and Carter begins to lay some ‘home truths’ on his friend that he never sees any more, Mitchell is unable to cope. Carter slams Mitchell’s marriage to a woman he barely knows and shares nothing in common with, whilst Mitchell responds with jibes of Carter’s unsucessful lifestyle, homelessness and inability to write a successful novel, nevermind finish one.
The vast majority of the film takes place in the desert or within the claustrophobic seat of the clapped out pickup truck. This creates such an intense environment which really heats up when friction occurs between the two so-called ‘friends’. Stunning cinematography of the desert amplifies how alone the duo are, with sweat pouring off the two men as the searing heat of the desolate landscape descends upon them. The friends find out that the dry desert is the worst place to be stranded with the blistering heat during the day, and the incredible cold at night. Slowly, Mitchell and Carter begin to break down in mind, body and soul.
For a film that focuses on two characters, the movie requires two actors who can engage the audience as their characters as well as convince and portray a lifelong friendship. Josh Duhamel as Mitchell and Dan Fogler as Carter are perfect for the two main roles of the movie. Pretty much opposites in the way they live their lives, the characters need depth and chemistry to show their former close-knit friendship, and both Duhamel and Fogler bring it in bucketloads to make their characters ones with depth and empathy. It also helps that a strong script is provided for the duo, with the audience engaged with the characters throughout the movie. The script highlights the feeling for a lot of people, not just men, who’ve hit their 30’s and are wondering where life is heading. Maybe their career, relationships or home life aren’t fulfilling or what they’d set out to be, and one cannot help but reminisce of how they thought life would turn out and whether their dreams of a better life are still attainable.
Kevin and Michael Goetz have created a captivating dramatic thriller, one with an abundance of depth and thought, as well as a dark edge of primal humanity. Wrecked, also known as Scenic Route in the USA, is definitely worth a watch for those in search of something different in a thriller, a subtle yet compelling quest for survival and change.