Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

It’s vacation time for the Sidwell family as patriarch Nate (Jim Caviezel), his lovely wife Robin (Elizabeth Rohm), his adoring youngest son Kenny (Jake Cherry) and his completely disrespectful and profane oldest son Shane (Sterling Knight) load up the Land Rover and head to the open road for some camping fun. 

It’s murderous bank robbing time for the Marek Gang as Marek (James Frain), his moll Arielle (Diora Baird), Evers the Wheelman (Ryan Donowho) and Losada the Angry Black Guy (Harold Perinneau) take the open road and try to make it to Mexico with four million in the trunk, the cops on that ass, and tensions running high.  The name is of the movie is ‘Transit’ and it’s from our friends at After Dark Films who are stepping out of the horror genre for a minute to give us some Action / Thriller motion. 

We can see that all is not well with the Sidwell family.  Apparently Nate just got out of the hoosegow after pulling 1.5 for some kind of white collar crime and would like things to get back to normal.  But alas his oldest son is an asshole.  Do teenagers really act like this?  Really?  I have a teenager at home and if he talked to me, jail or not, the way this kid talked to his mother and father, unfortunately I’d be right back in jail.  I’m just saying.

Things aren’t much better for the Marek gang who know they will be facing roadblocks, and since they are driving a muscle car, are all sweaty and suspicious looking, AND have a Black Guy in the back seat, it’s a guarantee that they are going to get pulled over.  What to do? Well Arielle and her boobs have come up with the idea of pulling a switch at the rest stop.  Stuff the money in the one of the Jones’s camping bags, who we know won’t be pulled over since they’re white and drive a nice car, eventually catch up to them, grab the money and head to Mexico.  Sound like plan… until it all goes to hell.

The first part of their plan was already suspect, but the second part… dumbest gang ever.  The smartest thing to do would probably be just to follow them around until they eventually pulled over to pee or get gas, then get your bag.  Running them off the road… probably not the best approach.  After that we have a situation that happens to the family which then prompts another suspect move from the gang at a motel, which also didn’t work, and now they are up against it.

Eventually our family figures out they have a car full of money, which leads to some other stuff and a few really bad misunderstandings within the family structure.  This is when ‘Transit’ goes into full Thriller Mode as Nate has to find a way to get these murderous criminals their money while keeping them from killing his family.  Where’s the money?  It’s complicated.  Just know that the only thing keeping these really angry, sweaty killers away from their loot is a mother and her whiney sons.  And a machine gun.  It’s complicated.

Directed by Antonio Negret, who also helmed After Dark’s very effective horror thriller ‘Seconds Apart’, ‘Transit’ is a completely serviceable, capable, relatively entertaining if not a completely run of the mill action thriller.  Negret keeps his movie moving pretty fast, Michael Givalry’s script keeps the action coming at rapid pace and keeps the vast majority of these characters really stupid, and the body count and violence is pretty high.  But to be honest, I wouldn’t have been all that upset if it was just a little bit higher.  Maybe just by one.  Also, since I watch Caviezel’s TV show ‘Person of Interest’, I was waiting for him to go into Mister Reece mode and start completely wrecking people, but that didn’t happen. 

‘Transit’ is an action / thriller and one of the staples of action thrillers are odd things that make very little real world sense, but do make sense at least when it comes to making sure certain things happen in our movie at certain times.  For instance, at one point in this movie Nate will find himself on the road with a bag of money.  For starters a wife should probably never leave her husband on a deserted Louisiana road, no matter how upset she is, but that’s less of an issue than why Nate felt the need to walk through the gator infest swamp with the money in tow for no reason that I could see.  In retrospect he did it so he could hide the money and lose it, but at the time it made very little sense.  And if you are going to violently rob millions and you need a getaway car that’s going to bring little attention… Chevy… Malibu.   450 block, triple black GTO…  not a good choice, but it looked cool.  Man that car is loud… unless it needs to suddenly appear out nowhere, sneak up and surprise some idiot standing in the road and run them down… then it’s quieter than quietest electric car.  Since Antonio Negret is from Columbia, he probably didn’t notice that Jim Caviezel’s ‘Texas’ accent was on only about twenty percent of the time.  Do you need training to effectively handle a machine gun?  Oh that’s right, Mrs. Sidwell is from ‘Texas’ and Texan’s are born knowing how to properly shoot automatic weapons like a Call of Duty commando.  We could ask why that gator hunter had a machine gun in his closet in the first place, but we won’t do that.

But all of that is just nitpicking.  Who needs an Action / Thriller to make total sense?  Not me.  James Frain was mean, Harold Perinneau was terminally angry, Diora Baird was stacked and Mister Reece was heroic.  ‘Transit’ should satisfy the need of anyone looking for a competent, crisp, well done, typical, and a somewhat stupid action thriller.

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