Joy Ride

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

When Lewis (Paul Walker) gets the opportunity to drive his friend Venna (Leelee Sobieski) home from college, he jumps at the chance, hoping their relationship will develop into something more. However, on his way from Berkley to Colorado to pick her up, he hears that his older brother, Fuller (Steve Zahn), is in jail in Salt Lake City, Utah. Fuller is notorious for getting himself and those around him into trouble, but Lewis can’t deny his own brother a ride home. On their way though, Fuller gets a CB radio installed in Lewis’ car, and the two end up playing a practical joke on a trucker. Lewis poses as a woman and invites the trucker, known as Rusty Nail, to their hotel, where they direct him to the wrong room. But when they wake up in the morning, they find that the man in the ‘wrong room’ was beaten within an inch of his life. While they are absolved of responsibility legally, Rusty Nail hasn’t forgotten them, and chases them across the country, even after Venna joins their trip. Plenty of lame dialogue and coincidences fill the script, and the shameless opening for a sequel will hopefully be unrealized. While not as cheesy as some teen thrillers, JOY RIDE will profit some from recognition of the familiar cast.

The main characters in the film are difficult to sympathize with, simply because they bring their fate upon themselves. Of course, they could not have known they were playing a prank on a psychotic killer, but their mean spirited joke sets the tone for what comes. And while it does seem that they genuinely feel sorry for what they’ve done – eventually – it’s hard not to cheer for the bad guy. At least for a time, hoping that the irresponsible teens learn their lesson. The film does contain some objectionable material, mainly foul language, which includes numerous obscenities and moderate crudities. Some violence also inevitably occurs, although limited restraint is shown in avoiding overly graphic or gory images. One other element of note is underage drinking, portrayed in a positive light in the film. For a little fun one night, college freshmen Lewis and Venna, along with older Fuller, go out and get drunk at a bar. Portrayed as a fun and humorous outing, the film sends the wrong message about alcohol. Underage, teenage drinking and foul language rate our negative response to JOY RIDE.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
20th Century Fox, 10201 W. Pico Blvd., LA, CA 90035

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (22) times – Mild 7, moderate 15

Obscene Language: Many (30) times - F-word 15, s-word 11, other 4

Profanity: Many (13) times – Regular 6 (GD 5, G 1); exclamatory 7 (OG, OMG)

Violence: Several times – Mild and moderate (people pushed around, hospitalized man missing jawbone, man’s leg stabbed, man grabbed and thrown, truck crashes through building)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (male rear in parking lot); Near Nudity – Few times (woman obviously without bra, woman shown in underwear, implied by males in diner obscured by table)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (guy asked if having sex with girl)

Drugs: Few times (alcohol, cigarette smoking)

Other: Underage drinking portrayed in positive light, prank leads to serious consequences

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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