The Long Dumb Road – 4 out of 5
I wish my real-life road trips were anything remotely like the road trips I see in movies. Wacky adventures, meeting strange but interesting people, and hitting the lowest of the lows before suddenly everything turns around and it all works out as you hit your destination. Instead, my road trips involve long hours of staring dead-eyed at the highway as I listen to podcasts and interrupted only by moments of panic when I think my bladder isn’t going to make it to the next rest stop. Until these road trips start to get more interesting, I’ll keep turning to the movies. Movies like The Long Dumb Road…
|I wanna hang out with these two.|
Nat (Tony Revolori) is hitting the road and on his way to art school. However, after his car refuses to start, he meets a mechanic by the name of Richard (Jason Mantzoukas). He fixes Nat’s ride and, in return, is offered a ride so that Richard can start a new life over in Las Vegas. Strangely, the two start to bond and Richard starts to tag along. As the journey continues, though, the two begin to wear on each other and their road trip turns into a misadventure full of fights, alcohol and even being robbed.
|"Get in loser. We're gonna learn about life."|
|Honestly, I'm kinda obsessed with Zouks!|
I really enjoy Mantzoukas so when he started promoting this film on the various podcasts he shows up on I knew I had to see it. Due to Zouks being in it, my expectations were for a road trip film that was on the more wacky side and had a heavy emphasis on raunchy comedy; however, I was surprised how this film had a more dramatic leaning with moments of comedy. I was taken by surprised but not disappointed because the tone works very well and Revolori and Mantzoukas show some excellent range in their performances.
|Both of them are desperately trying not to think if past guests in the |
hotel wore those robes.
The tone of The Long Dumb Road is incredibly well handled. The story goes through all the motions of a more comedic road trip movie but the film never treats these moments as the main points of comedy. Instead, the humor is birthed from the characters themselves. Yes, the situation can still be amusing in various ways but the real laughs I had was from the characters themselves and their interactions with each other. This made the mostly implausible story much more human and ended up making the characters even more engaging. This also resulted in a film that contained more heart than humor and it never felt disappointing for going this route. It created a very rich experience.
|Richard is informing Ron Livingston's character about what happened with the woman|
he is seeing and Lumbergh.
The performances in this film are top notch. Revolori and Mantzoukas have great chemistry together and they are surrounded by some great supporting players such as Casey Wilson, Taissa Farmiga, Grace Gummer and Ron Livingston. Both Revolori and Mantzoukas really found that line of delivering a dramatic performance but also knowing how to be funny when the time is right. I was very impressed with how Mantzoukas did this because I know and love him so much from the wacky and wholly inappropriate antics he usually portrays (and shows to an extent in this film) but was amazed to see that he has the goods as a great dramatic actor.
|It's not a good road trip if there's no open wounds.|
The Long Dumb Road travels down a road that we may have seen before but the company is very different. Thanks to its nearly perfectly balanced tone and absolutely excellent performances, the film is able to miss being a generic road trip film and carries itself as a tremendous dramedy that really feels original and its own. I had my expectations for it and they ended up going into a completely different direction…and it worked.