Not the worst trip.
Synopsis: The Long Dumb Road tells the story of two very different men, at personal crossroads who meet serendipitously and take an unpredictable journey through the American Southwest. At once comedic and honest, the film explores how differences in class, race, age, and life experience divide us, and how they can ultimately bring us together. (Gamechanger Films)
Starring: Tony Revolori, Jason Mantzoukas, and Taissa Farmiga
Writers: Hannah Fidell and Carson D. Mell
Director: Hannah Fiddell
Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 90mins
Road trip films have existed since the beginning of film. Most people have seen at least one in their lifetime. Whenever 2 or more characters are forced to coexist in close confines for an extended period of time, drama and/or comedy is born. The Long Dumb Road is unsurprisingly a road trip comedy that maybe tries to be more than it probably should be but it’s still a decent time to be had nonetheless. Though this new film doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of road trip films, more or less following the formula, there was still some fun to be had.
In this film we yet again find two completely different people who happened to meet by chance, a prospective art student named Nat (Revelori) and a wandering mechanic named Richard (Mantzoukas). Leaving home for the first time to drive from Texas to Los Angeles to begin art school, mechanical trouble brought him to Richard. From there, the two hit it off when a simple favor inevitably became much more. In a way, the two helped one another with Richard giving Nat, who was entering adulthood for the first time, a few lessons about life. Over the course of the film, Richard got the uptight Nat to open up more.
Ultimately, since the film focused mostly on Nat and Richard so enjoyment of the film will depend on the likability of the characters. Nat was a straight man to the occasionally over the top Richard. Richard may very well rub some people the wrong way but he had plenty of hilarious moments throughout the film. Over the course of the film, the two grew closer though it didn’t come without challenges as most of these relationships go. The two made perhaps one too many stops on the way as some of them dragged while they got into plenty of hijinks. However, whenever the film tried to approach these characters on a deeper level, the story faltered as it simply got lost in the shuffle seeing that the film never kept up with it.
The best part of the film was Revelori and Mantzoukas’ performances as Nat and Richard respectively. They were fun to watch together throughout despite both their characters not being particularly deep. Between Nat and Richard, it seemed like Richard got more focus when it should have been Nat. Nat was the more likable character of the two and had slightly more character development. Richard was an over the top character who was difficult to care about. Opening up over the course of the film, Revelori was compelling to watch while Mantzoukas had plenty of outrageous moments that he handled with ease as he has done several times before on TV and in movies.
Overall, this was a decent road trip movie that makes a few wrong turns and falters when it tries to be deeper but is still a fun time to be had despite the ending. Revelori and Mantzoukas were fun to watch even though the film could have gone deeper and seemed to favor the wrong one. Definitely not the worst 90 minutes.