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