Traffik (2018) Review
Traffik (2018) Review
A romantic getaway descends into terror for Brea (Paula Patton) and her boyfriend John (Omar Epps) when they run into a brutal biker gang. They manage to escape to a secluded mountain estate for the weekend, but their short-lived joy ends when the gang turn up at their front door demanding they return a stolen item they’ve accidentally acquired.
Alone and defenceless Brea and John are forced into a deadly fight for their lives against a ring of violent criminals who will go to any lengths to protect their secrets.
Even before I had settled down to review this release there was something about it that niggled me – the film’s title. So okay, the title does actually tip you off in terms of what the film’s story arc relates to but boy is it a bland title. It’s also a title that has pedigree with an Oscar-winning film with a very similar title – 2000’s Traffic – and a 1989 British miniseries with exactly the same title. And herein lies the biggest fault with director Deon Taylor’s movie, nothing, not even the movie’s title, is fresh. His Traffik is a predictable, irritating bore from start to finish.
Billed as a thriller Traffik is nothing of the sort. It panders to cliché and the characters are irritating, constantly doing that stupid thing that they really shouldn’t be doing. There’s a jaw-dropping moment where the female lead (Paula Patton) answers the door to the same anorexic woman she encountered in the garage’s toilet facilities. Rather than ask straight away ‘how on earth did you know where to find me?’ she opens the door and stands there with a simpering ‘oh poor you’ look for someone that you really, really, REALLY shouldn’t open the door for EVER! But she does!
You can zone out of Traffik and not miss a beat. You’ll be able to pick it right back up without ever wondering where the plot is at. The ‘romantic’ interludes become tedious fast, yes we get that they are in love but do we really need to keep seeing them canoodling with such regularity that you wonder if they actually have anything else in common apart from carnal desire?
I could go on about the various plot surprises that you can see coming a mile off but you never know, you may never have seen a film before ever, so in that case you may be one of those rare people that would actually be surprised by what unfolds. As for British audiences the idea of former teen idol Luke Goss as a menacing meanie might be a laughable stretch too far. It was for me. He just doesn’t cut it but his performance is much better than those from our main foursome and the male lead’s best mate Darren Cole (Laz Alonso) just did my bloody head in. I’m agog that this actually warranted a theatrical release in the States, this has straight to home entertainment written all over it and in my book it’s lucky to even get that!