Joy Ride, American movie (2001)

Who among you have ever pulled a prank on someone? Come on….don’t be shy now and speak up. I think it’s pretty much rather safe to say that we all have at some point, right? Whether it’s as a kid ringing the doorbell at a house and then quickly running away, or it’s as an adult thinking up something more elaborate. We all sometimes like to play a joke on someone. Sometimes when I have a lazy day, I like to go to YouTube and watch some truly crazy prank videos of people trying to scare the living daylights out of others. Some of them are really stupid, but there are also some that are amazingly brilliant. It’s always nice to see the response that people have to these pranks. A lot of people just laugh at the jokes, but there are also a few that really turn angry. For me those are the funniest ones to watch, but you also have to wonder at what point a joke isn’t really funny anymore. I draw the line at jokes that intentionally hurt people. I mean fun and games are all good, but if it ends up truly hurting someone, that for me isn’t a joke. But what if a prank gets turned around completely…and turns into something deadly? Funny (see what I did there) you should mention that….

You are in my parking space!!

Lewis Thomas is a university student who is on his summer break and is preparing to drive home on a cross country road trip. But before he heads home he has to make a stop to pick up his friend and crush Vena who has just ended her relationship. And of course this is a perfect time for Lewis to maybe make his move. However when he calls his mum announcing his plans he learns that his older brother Fuller has been arrested yet again. Not being happy about it, but having very little choice in the matter, Lewis bails Fuller out and he comes along for the ride. While at a gas station Fuller decides to install an old CB radio on the car of his brother. On the road the two of them listen in to truckers conversing with each other and eventually the two of them decide to do some talking as well. Fuller has always been a prankster and he wants his brother to impersonate a sultry woman on the radio waves. Lewis goes along and introducing himself as Candy Cane he seduces a truck driver called Rusty Nail that totally falls for it. However, the joke will soon be on them as Rusty Nail turns out to be a complete psychopath. Lewis and Fuller will soon be in for the ride of their lives….literally….

That moment where you think you are dreaming, but it ends up being real.

Halloween is almost upon us, and while I would not call this movie a horror movie, it’s certainly one that comes close to that genre. Joy Ride is erm a fun ride (okay enough with the puns  already) that doesn’t takes itself to seriously but is still a joy to watch (okay…seriously quit now!). It’s always strange to see Paul Walker in a film knowing that he sadly isn’t alive anymore. He is definitely an actor that really went way before his time. In this film he plays the role of Lewis and as always he pulls it off with his natural charm. His character is just your typical highschool student, that you may have seen in countless other films. Still, it’s hard not to like him, as he is just someone that has been unwillingly put into a very dangerous situation and tries to make things right. Steve Zahn is the actor that was cast in the role of the older brother, and his character was the complete opposite of Paul’s. Fuller is a total prankster, and certainly serves as the comic relief in this film. Zahn simply excells in roles such as these, and this one was no exception.

Breaker, breaker…ten four….out and over…or was it over and out??

The love interest, Vena, was played by actress Leelee Sobieski. Once hailed to be a very promising young actress she pretty much disappeared from the big screen. Which is a real shame as not only was she very pretty, she was also someone who could really act. Which she proves in this film. While she hasn’t a huge part in this movie, I still liked her role a lot. But it’s not the acting that you want to watch this movie for, it’s the thrills, and for the most part the film definitely succeeds in that. I like the way the tension is cranked up in this movie beginning almost as a bit of a comedy, and then, with every passing minute it becomes darker. For people who might be squeamish when it comes to blood, you will happy to know that this movie doesn’t contain any scenes like that. This is a pure thriller with some heartpounding and nailbiting scenes, especially in the later parts of the film. About halfway through the movie it does have a few moments where the tension slows down, and while I would not necessarily call this a bad thing, it occasionally slowed down a bit too much.

I wonder what the punchline of this joke was. All three of them seem to struggle with it.

The truck driver who is voiced by an uncredited Ted Levine, is never seen fully which of course only makes it more enjoyable. For me at least. It’s the unseen terror that usually is just way more effective and that’s certainly achieved with this film. All in all there is very little not to like about this film. I do have to give you a small warning though. Joy Ride was followed by two sequels that went straight to video. If you were maybe thinking of giving them a watch after this one, just know that they are totally different movies. Instead of thrills, they rely more on blood and gore, and are simply a pale shadow of this one. The original though is just a great thriller, with some very decent performances, a whiff of humor thrown into the mix, and enough thrills to make your heart pump faster. It’s the perfect film to watch on Halloween, when you like your horror/thriller movies without blood. Just go along with the ride…..

I give Joy Ride a 8 out of 10 score.


34 thoughts on “Joy Ride, American movie (2001)”

  1. LOVE the puns!! Keep on truckin with those!! (.. See what I did there? 😉😉) I LOVE Leelee Sobieski. The Joan of Arc movie she was in?? She was AMAZING!! I, weirdly enough, haven’t seen this movie… Probably because it was a teen thriller with Paul Walker… I wasn’t a fan of either… I know, you’re all gasping that I have the gall to say that. Geez people, I’m not saying I’m happy he’s dead just because I wasn’t a fan of his acting… The same way I don’t have to be a fan of his acting because he’s dead.. Anyways, I digress… Great post, and maybe I’ll check this one out now.. If only to remember how much I like Leelee! 😜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lol…well.I just very much liked this pun as well 😂😂😂 I will see if I can keep trucking with those as best I can 😂😂
      Oohh…I remember that movie…wasn’t it some kind of tv mini-series? It’s been years since I have seen it (decades even…) but I think it was the first time I saw her…and she really made an impression!
      Lol…No I’m not gasping at all. Though to be fair, his acting really improved over the years. I don’t know if you have seen any of his last films, but if you ever want to see a movie that tugs at your heartstrings as well as have him play a very good and highly impressive role I would say: check out Hours. Terrific film, but also a terrific and totally different role from what you are used to seeing him play 😊
      And no I’m digressing too….that usually happens😂😂 But yeah: I know you would like this movie: it contains your kind of humor as well, and Leelee is a very good reason to check it out too 😊😊I hope you will have an enjoyable ride when you see this one (see what I did there again? 😉🤔).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol 😂😂 Well he did play in a lot of other movies besided the Fast, and some really good ones too.
        But yeah Hours is very good…especially since it’s a totally different one that he usually plays in. Highly recommend it 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…yeah I loved those kind of shows: I liked the old mtv shows too like punked for instance 😊😊 They are always a laugh! 😂
      Haha….they are always difficult to come up with sometimes, but I definitely will keep the puns in! 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t seen many Paul Walker films, but can really recommend ‘Running Scared’ (2006) as it is packed with great scenes, and a lot of tension. And stars Chazz Palminteri too.
    I haven’t seen ‘Joy Ride’, as I was put off by thinking it was one of those American ‘youth’ films that get churned out time and again. But from your review, it seems well-worth watching, so I will look out for it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Running Scared was an absolutely terrific film. Very dark, and one that I have really enjoyed. If you want to see a truly good Paul Walker film though, and one that has him playing a really different role than he usually plays I recommend seeing Hours:
      It’s a really small and in my opinion highly underrated film, that for me was Walker’s finest performance ever, and one that showed he really had potential growing as an actor.
      As for Joy Ride, it could certainly have been one of those, but it really wasn’t. It felt really different and was a fun and good thriller. Hope you will enjoy it if you get a chance to see it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is kind of a strange seeing Paul Walker in films. It’s a somewhat bitter sweet feeling 🙂

    I remember Steve Zahn from Daddy Daycare, so its also kind of strange seeing him in a thriller hehe 😂😂
    Great Review 🙂 I completely forgot all about this movie. From what I remember of it, it was pretty good 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, that’s exactly the right words for it: a bitter sweet feeling. It’s really sad, but at the same time rewarding as well for him to have left behind such a great legacy.
      Haha..yeah, Steve Zahn usually plays in comedies, but he did play a great role her, and served pretty much as comic relief for this one.
      It’s definitely still a terrific film, and one that I watch every once in a while😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. And another great post! It really is a shame about Paul Walker. I remember the shock I had when I heard the news. I just couldn’t digest that news. That it was true. This also sounds like a good movie. Especially when I read about that one character whose voice was only heard. Definitely interesting! As usual a great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I definitely was in complete shock and denial when I heard the news about Pauls passing myself. It really was a complete shock to me..and I still to this date have trouble believing it.
      That said…this movie really is a lot of fun. It’s a great thriller, with some fun comedic moments in it as well, but for the most part it’s really tense and has some truly terrific scenes. I hope you will enjoy it, and thank you again! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…yeah, after seeing this one, I think a lot of people would think twice about doing that😂😂 It really was a fun film, and it’s one of those movies that you just watch again whenever you come across it. Simply one that never really gets old 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome review, Michel. Gosh, it truly is odd to see anything related to Paul Walker again, especially when it’s not related to Fast & Furious. I’m glad to hear how much you enjoyed this thriller though. I haven’t seen it, but it does sound like a fun movie!

    Soooo, when is your review for Halloween (2018) coming out? 😀 😀 Or do you not plan on checking it out? 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! 😊Yeah, it is very strange to see movies with Paul Walker. I still get sad seeing him in movies these days, but on the other hand it’s also a nice legacy. He has played in many other movie but one I would highly recommend is Hours, in which he really plays a completely different role than what he usually plays. And it’s a terrific movie. As for this one, yeah it really is a fun film, and pretty close to a classic. 😊
      As for Halloween, the movie is coming out here this week. If all goes well, I will see it on saturday, so review will probably be coming out in the weekend 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. hehe yeah I definitely played “knock and run” as a kid- so I’m familiar with pranks 😉 And wow this is a great premise for a story! It’s great it doesn’t take itself seriously and is such a fun ride 🙂 Great that this is perfect for halloween! Excellent review!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, I keep saying thanks: but I do mean it. Really great to see you back again in the comments section 😊
      Lol…yeah…we all did those I guess…and well, they didn’t really harm anyone so they were fun to do.😊
      This really is a great thriller, and one that’s perfectly good for Halloween. It has some great scenes, comedy, but also is rather tense. All in all a movie that doesn’t get old anytime, and one that I will keep watching every two or three years or so 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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