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It's after midnight when Mel and Jules, two young women, return to LA from holidays in Mexico; they jump in a shuttle to head downtown. The other passengers are a nervous accountant and two frat boys, one who's been hitting on Jules. They're soon on unfamiliar, deserted streets - to avoid a traffic jam, says the driver - then things go from bad to worse. What's going on and where are they headed? Guns, knives, chains, a tattoo, and medication play in the resolution.Written by
What can you say about the film where the general idea behind it is good... but the construction is so appalling? Watching the last few minutes offered some semblance of satisfaction... but recalling almost everything that led up to this point... such as: twists you can see from a mile off, cretinous behaviour from all concerned and a ludicrously indestructible villain meant whatever good feelings I may I had towards the movie came crashing down like a lead balloon.
These two girls have just come back from Mexico, and are trying to get a ride home from the airport. Rather than take an official bus, they rather unwisely choose to hop on a dodgy looking blue van driven by a seedy looking geezer... with the offer of a 50% discount. A couple of lads desperate to get off with the two ladies join them, along with a nervous-looking businessman. His role will quickly become clear for anyone with a half functioning brain. Surprise, surprise... the truck doesn't stop where they want it to. Then, when the vehicle halts abruptly when it gets a 'flat'... that's where the ordeal begins.
And not just for the protagonists. Constantly, we see people having countless opportunities to run for it, kill the bad guy, escape with the van... and do they take any of them? Nope. Admittedly, this would have ended the film much sooner (not a bad thing). But to endlessly harangue us with these venues of retreat, only for the foolish characters to choose THE WORST POSSIBLE OPTION and muck them up is just an insult to the audience. This is a common problem to be found in a lot of recent films... if our heroes are going to fail, at least let them do it in a believable way, not by having them act dumber than roadkill. It also majorly diminishes what sympathy we may have had for the hapless fools... when they're the architects of their own downfall.
As for the evil dude, he can be involved in a major automobile accident, bludgeoned over the head repeatedly, stabbed in the thigh and shot through the skull... and STILL muster up enough strength to not only survive, but force a young woman into a box. Is he a cartoon? It just adds to the lunacy, anyway. And the few curveballs the script throws our way could be anticipated by the most inattentive of viewers. Shuttle could have been a noteworthy horror with originality, but thanks to poor treatment just ends up being a forgettable also-ran... 4/10
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