In Robert Harmon’s ‘The Hitcher’ (1986), Rutger Hauer’s psycho killer is asked where he’s from. ‘Disneyland,’ he replies, smiling sardonically. Now, courtesy of Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, which also remade ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, we have pop video director Dave Meyers’ Disneyfied version of that classic action-horror movie – not that they’ve toned down the gore, although the ‘finger in the fries’ scene is conspicuously absent. In place of C Thomas Howell’s fragile teen in a drive-away car and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s scene-stealing waitress, we get two anonymous students (Zachary Knighton and Sophia Bush) driving cross-country in a 1970 Oldsmobile. Picking up the Hitcher, they enter a world of pain, but Sean Bean’s stubbly psycho lacks Hauer’s death-driven dementia. So in place of a bleary nightmare of slaughter and mistaken identity, we get an anodyne chase movie with no darker psychological undercurrents. Gone is the near-symbiotic relationship between pursuer and prey, replaced by superficial characterisation and spurious motivation. Bloated, boring and over-explained, this gets a definite ‘thumbs down’.
|Release date:||Friday June 1 2007|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Eric Red, Jake Wade Wall, Eric Bernt|