Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Bobby (Nick Zano), his fiance Melissa (Nicki Acox) and Mellisa’s baby sister Layla are on a glorious road trip from Los Angeles to Vegas for a group Bachelor / Bachelorette party. Now this is a personal editorial here but I’m thinking that going to Las Vegas of all places for a group Bachelor / Bachelorette party kind of defeats the whole purpose of the party in the first place, wouldn’t you think. I’m not just talking from the male point of view either because you will be spending the rest of your life with this person, at least in theory, so can’t we spend just one freaking day away from each other? Just a random thought. I believe the reason that this a group party is to demonstrate the power of love these two have for each other, which they will really, really need to lean on in this movie ‘Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead’.

Along the way, much to Melissa’s surprise and dismay, they pick up baby sister Layla’s My Space boyfriend, the heavily tattooed, inappropriately pierced and completely obnoxious Nik (Kyle Schmid). This is the guy that knows ‘the shortcut’. He’s the guy the minute you see him you know you shouldn’t let him be part of the team because he’s going to get everyone killed. And about those shortcuts… Look, I know our government has made some mistakes in the past but the Freeway System wasn’t one of them. The reason that there are Highways and Freeways where small towns used to be is because our government in their infinite wisdom knew we didn’t want to drive through those small out of the way towns, and I fully support that wise decision. So the obnoxious ignorant dude knows a shortcut which our seemingly clear thinking adults go along with only to have baby sis’ 83 Caprice crap out in the middle of nowhere in the desert.

Yes, that does suck but fortunately our kids find a nearby, seemingly abandoned house with a classic muscle car with the keys in it and off they go! Melissa did leave her phone number so that whoever might own the house can contact her with damages

info, and they did plan to return the car they just stole once they secured a rental ride. Sadly our kids just busted up in the crib of the silky smooth deep voiced Rusty Nail, the world’s angriest, sickest, meanest most ornery trucker since that dude chased down Kurt Russell in ‘Break Down’. First thing Rusty does is grab fiancé Bobby, which is unique in that we have a Dude in Distress as opposed to a Damsel, and now he’s making the remaining three, Melissa in particular, play all kinds of sick and twisted games for his enjoyment. It’s looking like everybody’s not making it to Vegas. Thanks dude with the shortcut.

The surprising thing about ‘Joy Ride 2’ is that it took the powers that be eight years to decide to make a sequel to the first one because this is the kind of subject matter that’s just tailor made to be beat to death with Straight to DVD sequels. So knowing what kind of movie this is and what it’s setting out to do, there’s nothing particularly wrong with ‘Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead’.

Director Louis Morneau makes the early decision to make this sequel a torture action flick as opposed to a horror flick because there’s really no scares, not a lot of tension, nothing in particular that will startle you like one would expect from a traditional horror flick. Instead what we get are chase scenes, explosions, some running, some hiding and a lot of screaming. All of the ‘horror’ elements are handled through grisly torture. Now I gotta tell you that I’m not really one for torture horror as I would much rather have my horror consist of that stupid ass cat that always jumps from the window unannounced as opposed to watching dudes takes ice picks to the knee caps, getting your fingers snipped off or taking hot scalding brands to the chest. All this happens to one dude by the way. But the torture elements, as distasteful as they were, weren’t a large part of movie which was more hide and seek and run and die more than anything else.

So I guess I’m telling you that ‘Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead’ wasn’t really all that bad. The setup with the whole ‘shortcut’ and all was bit tired and the characters our crew of pretty actors were playing weren’t all that unique but the movie was paced well, never got boring or tedious had a bit of gore for those of you cats who dig that kind of thing and Rusty Nail is a solid bad guy. As far as unnecessary Straight to DVD sequels go, ‘Joy Ride 2’ isn’t a total waste of time.

Real Time Web