Della Myers is an overwhelmed upper-middle-class housewife who lives in a large house in the suburbs with her twin children and her abusive husband, Kenneth. Kenneth lets Della know that he thinks she gives all her attention to the twins and neglects her house and her appearance. Late on Christmas Eve, Della drives to the local mall to buy gift-wrap. While searching for a parking space in the jam-packed lot, Della notices an old car taking up two spaces. Frustrated and annoyed, she decides to leave a paper message on the windshield of the old car, writing, "Hey, Jerk. Two parking spaces. How selfish can you be?" After the mall closes, Della's car is held by the driver of the old car and she is threatened by four punks -- Chuckie, Huey, Vingh, and Tomás. When the security guard of the mall attempts to protect Della, he is shot and killed by Chuckie. Della tries to escape from the criminals in her truck, but the gang chases her. In the chase, she crashes in a nearby forest. What unfolds...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Edited and revised for clarity by JKS, United States
To be sure there's nothing particularly original in this. It's a fairly standard chase movie as a woman is chased through the night by a gang of thugs out to kill her in revenge for her having left a nasty note on their car when they double parked in a busy parking lot on Christmas Eve. So, yeah, it's a variation on a pretty standard theme. There are no real "surprises." You know the woman is going to survive somehow, and in all honesty I thought there was a fair bit of tension and suspense through the whole thing. It's a bit unbelievable, sure - but that's the nature of this kind of movie. Unoriginal, yeah - but anyone who reads the description of the movie going in has to know it's going to be unoriginal so don't watch it if you want something brand spanking new. I liked the basic story from the point at which Della began to be pursued to the point at which she escaped. I thought it was well done.
The movie was helped by having a better than usual lead. Kim Basinger played Della and did well with the part. So many of these movies feature a complete cast that you've never seen before and that you'll never see again that it's kind of nice to see a familiar face. Ironically, perhaps the weakest part of the movie was also Della, though - not Basinger's performance but the character's background. From the opening scenes of the movie Della is portrayed as a victim of an abusive husband, apparently trapped in this unhappy marriage. That really served little purpose and had few connecting points to the remainder of the movie except to allow for a "shocker" in the very last scene, which, again, wasn't necessary to the story.
Go into this with your eyes wide open. If you like this type of movie then this is certainly on par with (and maybe even a bit better than) most "chase" movies you'll come across. But if you're looking for originality, forget it. It all depends what you're expecting from it. Personally, I rather liked it. (7/10)
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