Reese Witherspoon, veteran
of Fear and S.F.W., plays Vanessa Lutz, a white trash teenager with
a penchant for criminal activity, in this surprisingly
well done retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood."
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland,
and Amanda Plummer
Vanessa's life has just hit rock bottom. Her prostitute mom (Amanda Plummer)
and her drug addict stepfather (Michael T. Weiss) have both been nabbed
for various offenses on the same day. Vanessa, who's no stranger to this
type of situation, handcuffs a youth services officer and steals her car,
setting off to find a grandmother who doesn't even know she exists. But,
shortly after turning onto the freeway, the car overheats and dies alongside
the road. Enter Bob Wolverson (Kiefer Sutherland), who pulls up to assist
Vanessa by giving her a ride.
Wolverson says he is a child
psychologist and begins to probe Vanessa for information about her background.
He buys her dinner, gains her trust
and begins to draw information about Vanessa's past out of her fairly
easily. After his questions get a bit too personal, Vanessa realizes he
is the "I-5 Killer," a serial murderer who's been preying on
young girls in the Los Angeles area. One of the most entertaining movies
I've seen this year is off and running.
Matthew Bright takes what could have been a standard direct-to-video,
and turns it into a sometimes
hilarious and sometimes shocking look at what happens when the trailer
parks and motel rooms of America meet white-bread, upper-middle class
suburbia. The "Little Red Riding Hood" storyline is updated
into a scary parable for modern times.
Reese Witherspoon's performance is fantastic and fun-to-watch. Sutherland,
who's never been one of my favorite actors, is also in top form. Brooke
Shields, who plays Sutherland's wife, is one of the many surprises this
movie has in store for an audience.
My expectations were low for Freeway, but I can honestly say that I was
dead wrong thinking this was going to be standard video fare. This was
simply the biggest surprise of the year movie-wise.
Trivia: Freeway was Matthew Bright's first directing job. He's also written Dark
Angel: The Ascent and The Revenant. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)