Review: Trucker

Trucker | James Mottern, 2009

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A person settles down to have a family and he or she has a family. However, they eventually realize that they prefer their old live, and although it hurts them, they abandon their families. But years later they unexpectedly find themselves drawn back to the life they left behind. I bet you wanted to stop me, but you couldn’t because you are just reading. But yeah, you’ve seen this story play out in front of your eyes many times before whether it is on television or the big screen. Yet, people keep making them. Why is that. At this point it is hard to make something refreshing with that. But I guess that they are the perfect show cases for actors that want to break out and show the world that they can act.

That is all that Trucker is about: showin that Michelle Monaghan can act. And in those terms the movie succeeds. Here she plays a truck driver named Diane that likes what she does, sleeps with strangers in dirty motels, lives in a bad neighborhood when she is not driving because that is all that she could afford. She only has one friend named Runner (Nathan Fillion), and hangs out with him although he is married (he is not unfaithful although he wants to be). One day, his ex-husban’s current wife arrives at her door asking her to take care of the son she left behind 10 years ago. Obviously this intrudes in her routine, but she must deal with it because the kid’s father is dying of cancer. And so we get to see how the two bond and time passes and it becomes clearer that they will spend a lot of time with each other.

Like I said, this type of movie is pretty much an acting show case for the lead actor, and Monaghan does an excellent job. Sure, she may look too pretty to be a trucker, but you actually believe it because of how well she plays the character. She looks tired, stressed, lonely, and pretty much everything that a trucker supposedly is like. Jimmy Bennet is good but he tends to overact. And Nathan Fillion is as charming as always. I don’t know how he is not a bigger star. I mean, a guy who calls himself “The Situation” is adored by many, yet this talented individual is stuck in television in a charming, but not too great TV show. But that’s Hollywood for you.

Elewhere, the movie is a mixed bag. The script is very generic, not bad, but you can tell what it is going to happen. And you can tell that the writer ran out of ideas in the end with what he chose as the final conflict that brings mother and child together. The direction is also not bad, but it’s average. The cinematography has the digital look that I hate, but the lighting is quite striking at times. And the music, from the song selections to the score is just fine.

Trucker is not the greatest movie out there, but you could do worse than this. The performances are good, particularly Monahgans and it is competently made. Not a bad movie to watch when you are in the mood of a drama that doesn’t demand too much.

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