SXSW Film Reviews: 'Scenic Route'
Scenic RouteNarrative Spotlight, World Premiere
D: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz; with Josh Duhamel, Dan Fogler
Thematically parallel to David Gordon Green's Prince Avalanche, this stuck-on-the-asphalt road movie presents us with two men, two lifestyles, two existential options. The characters in Scenic Route personify the dilemma of today's aging creative class: Is it better to follow your artistic dreams and end up broke, unpublished, homeless, and fat, or to squelch your passion and wind up suffocating in a sexless, suburban marriage? Put that way (and that is definitely how the movie puts it), we might consider option C – death – which would be the easiest recourse for estranged chums Carter (Fogler) and Mitchell (Duhamel) after their truck breaks down on a highway in the California desert. Cult TV creator Kyle Killen (Lone Star, Awake) wrote the screenplay; his study of Carter and Mitchell's precarious equilibrium, as they struggle to survive with no water, no food, and no cell signal, is sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, but rarely unpredictable. Cut out the exposition-dump dialogue, superfluous flashbacks, and inane twist ending, and there's a good movie in there somewhere.Friday, March 15, 6:45pm, Topfer