Carjacked (2011) – Review

1 Star


Don’t believe the fast paced-suspense thriller DVD jacket for Carjacked, in reality it is closer to the Clint Eastwood directed 1993 drama A Perfect World. That may be too high class of a comparison. This is a boring, by the numbers wannabe thriller that contains no suspense or thrills of any kind. Maria Bello is Lorraine Burton, a recent divorcee with a low paying job struggling to make ends meet while caring for her ten year old son. One night Lorraine and her son stop into a gas station for Bagel Bites in substitution for pizza (one of the screenplays’ more charming moments) and are carjacked by a charismatic bank robber named Roy (Stephen Dorff).

Dorff is the only one who escapes this mess without a mark. He has always been a compelling screen presence and recently has made a mini comeback. Now older with a few more creases in his face Dorff has aged into an interesting character actor. Maria Bella is a great actress and she does her best here. At times her character is very sympathetic and, as written, fairly naive and idiotic. A great deal of the picture takes place in the car with these two veteran actors trading barbs and eventually forging a quasi-relationship. Yet it never feels like anything remotely genuine due to a script by Michael and Sherry Compton that is so outlandish that character motivations and decisions are laughable throughout.

The advertising material proclaims this is a John Bonito film. If that doesn’t ring any bells you are probably not alone, it’s an arrogant presumption that viewers will recognize the name from one theatrically released bomb. Bonito directed the equally brain dead yet far more enjoyable action film The Marine. I was a fan of that picture and I was lead to believe Carjacked would feature some competent exciting sequences. However Bonito has staged this entire production in a very flat and un-involving manner. It’s not until nearly an hour in that Carjacked turns into the kind of film the trailers suggest it would be, however by that point it’s too little way too late. The viewer is asked to sit through a banal sixty minutes of dialogue and plot developments that would seem unfit for a lifetime cable movie.

It’s hard to say where the creative forces went wrong on this project. Bonito has shown a flair for action and tongue in check nostalgia in his first feature film. Unfortunately both of those elements are missing from this picture. When a director has two gifted actors in Dorff and Bello and yet still can’t keep viewers attention something has gone seriously wrong behind the scenes.

Director: John Bonito
Stars: Maria Bello, Stephen Dorff, Joanna Cassidy

One thought on “Carjacked (2011) – Review

  1. OMG What a stupid woman! She had MULTIPLE chances to save herself and her son much sooner than she did. she`s at a roadblock surrounded by cops and says nothing, And then goes into a CROWDED restaurant where she could scream bloody murder, But instead she goes into the restroom and writes “help, I`ve been kidnapped “on the mirror And then writes her license plate number.If she could`nt say anything to the cops at the roadblock what difference does it make if they stop her and she says something? She was at a crowded gas station, Outside the car, Her son was in a crowd of children, totally safe, He tells her to get back in the car, And she does! This movie is too stupid for words.

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