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Big Rig (2007)

6.4
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A portrait of contemporary American life, as seen through the eyes of long-haul truck drivers.

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A portrait of contemporary American life, as seen through the eyes of long-haul truck drivers.

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Almost interesting doc that lacks any narrative
14 January 2013 | by (Evansville, Indiana) – See all my reviews

I had high hopes for this based on the description and the reviews of others. I was, needless to say based on my headline, disappointed completely. The movie follows way too many people, very little of it is actually about big rigs or the life of a truck driver, much of it was too political (seemed mostly like fairly uninformed political discussion), and too much of it merely solidified the stereotypes of truckers that the film seemed to want to get away from. On top of all that, none of it was very interesting.

The main problem is the film lacks a solid narrative foundation. The editing is horrendous, jumps all around the country, often leaving you with no idea where we're off to next or if there's any goal in mind. They'd introduce a character, spend 2 mins with him then suddenly leave and never bring the guy back. One guy's entire time on camera was basically him sitting in his broken down truck, and only after nearly 2 hours do we see what on earth happened- yet, even here, we don't get a true sense of what a trucker would do in such a circumstance. The MTV style editing with a millisecond of a random object was distracting as well. It seems like the director didn't get enough coverage for any of the scenes- why else leave in all the annoying zoom in shots where he tried, often in vain, to get an object in focus- an object that had no bearing on the story itself? That took away from the film's aesthetic, and with the shabby narrative, this movie needed all it could get in that dept.

Just generally a disappointing effort throughout. I enjoyed a couple of the stories, and we did get small glimpses into the lives of truck drivers, but nowhere near enough to justify 100+ mins. And let's even discuss in too much detail the endless montages of random road signs and roadway accompanied by music that was a good 3 times louder than any of the dialogue- I had to turn the volume up and down, up and down the entire time. Interesting idea, tragically flawed result.


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