Road Games full movie review - Roadkill
Film's like 1986's The Hitcher, created such paranoia that would more or less put an end to anyone ever picking up a hitchhiker.
Jack, the protagonist of this picture, must be completely oblivious of this paranoia as well as frankly everything that goes on in this film. Road Games follows clueless old Jack as he attempts to hitchhike back to England from the south of France without being able to speak or understand the Frenach language. This complete fish-out-of-water soon meets with a girl, Veronique and the two continue to hopelessly hitchhike towards England... That is until an overly friendly Frenchman offers the two shelter for several days at his home along with his ominous as f*ck American wife. Oh and there is also the threat of a Hitchhiker killer on the loose that may be relevant I'm not quite sure.
The use of the french language is interesting but also puzzling throughout this film. The majority of the film is spoken in French and this is to create the isolation Jack would experience by not being able to understand the language and also to add mystery as to whether Jack is being told the truth or not... At least this is what Director Abner Pastoll has said, but what I have a problem with is that Gizard and Vernoquie can speak English and know that Jack can't understand them. Yes I know they may speak the truth in french so that Jack can't understand it, but they do this all the time, like there aren't that many secrets to keep from Jack. The extent of French used to communicate with Jack is over done and in many scenes Gizard and/or Veronique speak to Jack one on one making the use of communication basically pointless.
The film feels a little bit style over substance as there are some interesting choices of cinematography and iconography but for the most part very little actually happens. The films synopsis is the opening act of this film and the ending is underwhelming and confusing. Logic takes a little bit of a back seat at times as well so that the style can be dominant, for example; When Jack fires a shotgun long range, when Jack and Veronique prepare for Gizard and Mary to walk in the house only to hide next cut, and also the ring around the hail bale rosie, I especially like how actor Frédéric Pierrot demonstrates the stupidity of this scene in an outtake in the gag reel.
The worst part of this film has to be what it all builds to... The ending. It may not sound it but I enjoyed the visuals and style of this film for the most part, but the film does build to its conclusion which fails completely. I don't really know what happened in the end. I found the ending really quite confusing with the french language use and twists embedded. I will discuss the ending here so SPOILER ALERT. So I understood that Veronique was Gizard and Mary's daughter but I failed to see what relevance this had on the hitchhiker killer story line that I was expecting to see more of. Gizard said that his daughter is now a murderer and won't stop and all that but she only killed one person and it was more of a mercy killing than cold blooded murder. Veronique doesn't even kill her parents which is what I thought happened until the end credit scene which by the way is laughably bad. So I really failed to see what the "big reveal" was because to me everything seemed irrelevant. But hey, I probably just didn't get it.
Overall, Road Games is a hitchhiker thriller with style but lacking in logical or clear understanding for its audience. The film is too successful in its Lost in Translation goal that it lost me as a viewer. Go check out the film as you may or may not understand it better than I did, but for me its time for Road Games to hit the road.