Detour (2017) Film Review

A law student taking matters into his own hands. It’s certainly an ambitious premise, mixed with elements of Sliding Doors albeit in a drunken state. Harper (Tye Sheridan-Tree of Life)  is our guy determined to seek his own justice as he believes womanising stepdad Vince (Stephen Moyer-True Blood)  is the one responsible for putting his mother in coma. So begins a most unconventional roadtrip to Vegas, across the sparse yet picturesque California highway in search of revenge.

Except, this journey has two possible routes with a rag tag team of  thug Johnny (Emory Cohen) and his stripper girlfriend Cherry, who are comedically the extra baggage that Harper did not plan for and cannot seem to dump on the side of the road. You cannot be half-hearted about a murder plot, but the decisions we make in a drunken state are not light ones and we must learn to live with them.

Our morally challenged protagonist toys with a timeline that jumps back and forth as he must arrive at a decision-commit to the homicide, or peter out with the risk of enraging his psychopathic hired assassin. Cinematography by Christopher Ross is beautiful, and the yellow jacket worn by Harper is almost iconic (akin to the one worn by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill).

Where the movie falls short is the underwritten character of Cherry and the abrupt plot reveals. This is balanced however with subversions on what we assume is a typical story. However, it takes the sleazy US roadtrip genre trope for a ride and still manages to leave enough fuel in the take to propel us forward.

Worth the journey.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Icon Films