[box cover]

Joy Ride

Paul Walker stars in Joy Ride (2001) as Lewis, a clean-cut college freshman eager to spend some quality time with the newly single girl of his dreams (Leelee Sobieski) on a cross-country road trip. But in movies like this one, things never work out as planned. Before Lewis makes it from Los Angeles to Boulder, Co., where his prospective girlfriend awaits his arrival, he reluctantly adds his ne'er-do-well older brother (Steve Zahn) to the traveling party and engenders the wrath of a creepy, violent truck driver. Directed by John Dahl, who was responsible for the best of the early 1990s noir revival with Red Rock West and The Last Seduction, Joy Ride is tight and slick and perfectly paced, even if its material is often too familiar. While the screenplay rigidly sticks to formula, Joy Ride's marquee player is Steve Zahn, who is always interesting, often funny, and has a unerring capacity to remain believable in unbelievable circumstances. Paul Walker does a fine job playing the straight man to Zahn's unpredictable screw-up, and the unique Sobieski is also good in her limited screen time. Fox's Joy Ride DVD features a terrific anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) with solid Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround audio. The disc also features three commentary tracks: one with director Dahl, a second with screenwriters Clay Tarver and J.J. Abrams, and the third track with Zahn and Sobieski. Also here: four alternate endings with optional commentary, one bit of deleted material from the middle of the film (with an optional commentary by Sobieski), a comparison of alternate voice actors for Rusty Nail, and a standard flashy "making-of" featurette. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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