While driving to Las Vegas for the bachelor party of her sister Melissa and her fiancé Bobby, Kayla stops the car in the gas station to meet her date, Nik, a guy she met on the internet. ...
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While driving to Las Vegas for the bachelor party of her sister Melissa and her fiancé Bobby, Kayla stops the car in the gas station to meet her date, Nik, a guy she met on the internet. Nik convinces her to take a secondary road under the protest of Bobby but the car breaks down. They find a house in the middle of nowhere and decide to take the car parked in the house's garage to the next city, and return with a rented car to pay for the damages provoked by Nik; Melissa leaves her cell number. However, they discover that the owner of the place is the sadistic truck driver Rusty Nail and they have to pay a high price for what they did. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
While the original "Joy Ride" was a classy, suspenseful and stylish film, its direct-to-DVD sequel, "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead," goes more for the gore and cheap thrills, playing as sort of a cross between the first film and films like "Hostel" which derive much of their horror from placing their characters in excruciatingly uncomfortable situations.
In the original film, we had characters we cared about, who found themselves at odds with an unstable trucker known only by the handle Rusty Nail after a seemingly innocent prank. Here, the characters -- as cardboard as you would expect from a cash-in sequel -- seem to be making as many poor decisions as they can at every turn and are just begging to be a part of Rusty's game. Rusty himself, who has been re-cast from Ted Levine to Mark Gibbon, comes across less-human than before and seems to have an even meaner streak. Here, the attempt is made to cast Rusty Nail as some sort of franchise villain, worthy of carrying future films on his back, but unfortunately, the film adds nothing new to the character's mythology or motivations. He's just a mean guy who can't be reasoned with.
In spite of its flaws and the fact that it can't hold a candle to the original, "Dead Ahead" gets a pass for delivering some decent thrills and for attempting to milk some tension in its final act. Also, the actors seem to be trying to deliver more than just the stereotypes they were written as, and for that, they should be commended. For the most part, it works, and to be honest, there have been much, much worse direct-to-DVD sequels in recent memory. It's also a bit tough to follow-up such a strong act as the first, so with that in mind, you'll be able to turn off your brain and enjoy a ride with "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead."
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