The Long Dumb Road (CIFF 2018)

Put your hand up if you’ve ever seen a road trip movie. Keep your hand up if you’ve watched one where two of the characters are opposites. If your hand is still up, you will probably know exactly where The Long Dumb Road is going almost immediately and until its last scene. It never once tries to be original or subvert our expectations. That doesn’t make it bad, but it does make it feel stale. You can still eat stale bread; it just doesn’t taste as good.

The film stars Tony Revolori and Jason Mantzoukas as our mismatched pair. The former is a soon-to-be art student driving to Los Angeles, while the other is a recently unemployed and possibly insane mechanic going to Las Vegas. Circumstances dictate they ride together, the crazy one does crazy stuff while the other one plays the straight man, the meet characters along the way who also do weird things, you laugh a bunch, and eventually the trip ends for one reason or another and we all go our separate ways. There are attempts to inject some pathos to the proceedings but it isn’t effective at making us care one way or the other about anyone we see on-screen.

The Long Dumb Road is funny, granted, and you’re not going to have a bad time if you watch it. It lacks any sort of staying power and it feels familiar from start to finish, but the chemistry of its two leads and some of the bizarre things Jason Mantzoukas gets to say and do are enough to make it an entertaining watch. It’s nothing more than that, but it is funny enough to be worth your time.

Conclusion: The Long Dumb Road is a funny and familiar road trip movie.

Recommendation: If you want to laugh, The Long Dumb Road will satisfy that urge.

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