Search
3D 5th Wave 70s Culture 80s Cinema A Night of Horror AAustralian film Action Activism Adaptation Adelaide Film Festival Adventure Advocacy African American Age of Adaline AI albanian Alien Abduction alien covenant aliens Alpha alt-right altzheimers amazon American Amitabh Bachchan Animal Animation anime anthology Anti-vaxx Ari Gold Art Asia Pacific Screen Awards Asian Cinema Australian film AV Industry Avengers Bad Robot BDSM Beach Boys Berlinale BFG Bianca Biasi Big Hero 6 Biography Biopic Blade Runner Blake Lively Blockbuster B-Movies Bollywood Breast Cancer Brian Wilson Brisbane Bruce Willis Camille Keenan Canadian Cancer candyman Cannes cannibalism Cannon Films Cesars CGI Chapman To Character Actors Charlie Hunnam Charlize Theron Chemsex China Lion Chinese Chloe Grace Moretz Chris Hemsworth Chris Pratt Christchurch christian cinema christmas Christopher Nolan Classic Cinema Clint Eastwood Close Encounters Cloverfield Comedy Comic Book Coming-of-Age Concert Film Conor McGregor Conspiracy Controversy Crowd-sourced Cult Cure Dakota Johnson Dance Academy Dardennes Brothers darth vader Debut Deepika Padukone Depression Disaster Movies Disney Diversity Documentary doomsday Dr Moreau drama Dunkirk Dustin Clare Dystopic EL James eli roth Elizabeth Banks Entourage Environmental Epic Erotic Cinema Extra-terrestrial Extreme Sports faith-based Family Film Fantasy Father Daughter Feminism Fifty Shades of Grey Film Film Festival Flop Foreign found footage French Cinema Friendship Fusion Technology Gareth Edwards Gay Cinema Ghostbusters Ghosts Godzilla Golan Globus Gothic Graphic Novel green inferno Guardians of the Galaxy Guillermo del Toro Gun Control Hacker Hailee Steinfeld Han Solo Happiness Harrison Ford Harry Dean Stanton
« GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY | Main | GIRL RISING »
Monday
Jul142014

ROAD TO PALOMA

Stars: Jason Momoa, Robert Homer Mollohan, Wes Studi, Lisa Bonet, Sarah Shahi, Michael Raymond-James, Chris Browning, Timothy V Murphy and Steve Reevis.
Writers: Jason Momoa, Robert Homer Mollohand and Jonathan Hirschbein.
Director: Jason Momoa.

Rating: 3/5

Putting the reworked Conan flop behind him and eagerly expanding on his muscle-defined personality in Game of Thrones, Hawaiian he-man Jason Momoa, his visage recalling at times that of a mid-career Steven Seagal, carries just about all his broad shoulders can muster in the dusty desert melodrama, Road to Paloma.

As noble renegade/wanted man Robert Wolf, Momoa cuts a mythic figure against the desert landscape, perpetually drenched in that ‘magic hour’ glow that cinematographers like feature debutant Brian Andrew Mendoza adore. DOP is about the only role Momoa doesn’t take credit for in this low-budget but slickly-produced B-movie, which represents the actor’s feature directing debut as well as first-up producer and screenwriter credits.

Wolf is on the run having beaten a man to death who raped his mother (he’s the hero, remember.) Life as a fugitive seems to suit the bike ridin’, tough-but-tender Mojave tribe decendent, who slips in and out of bars, stripjoints, diners and family get-togethers with ease. He frequents the home of his policeman father Numay (Wes Studi) on occasion. A chance meeting with troublemaking muso Cash (co-writer Robert Homer Holloman) sets in motion an open road friendship that is a bit hard to swallow at times. Why is Wolf pairing off with this unpredictably violent loser while trying to maintain a low profile?

Having taken a few sexy moments to bed real-life spouse Lisa Bonet’s hippy chick and to act as rescuer of a rape victim, Wolf makes tracks to the home of his sister Eva (Sarah Shahi, pleasingly natural) to collect his mom’s ashes and make for the sacred mountain grounds. All this while, unhinged federal agent Williams (a seething Timothy V Murphy, clearly the movie’s true villain) and local lawman Schaeffer (Chris Browning, offering some nice character-based comedy just when the production needs it) are closing the net on our unsuspecting anti-hero.

As calmly cool and immensely likable as Momoa plays Wolf, there’s an underlying thematic current that favours vigilantism and revels in the ‘blood, booze and bikes’ alpha-male mentality. Road to Paloma is a sort of ‘reverse Easy Rider’, the film in which counter-culture dropouts biked the countryside in the face of conservatism; here, the good guy is the all-American leather-clad biker, rightfully dishing out his own form of justice in defiance of the liberal laws of the land.

Which may be over-reading what is ultimately a muscle-flexing but rather meandering road movie in search of a purpose; some mutterings about the unfair nature of the current legal system don’t really amount to much. But director Momoa progresses through the episodic plot with confident skill, although he may have had a few words with his leading man about easing back on the Rock-like charm (Wolf is murderer on the run, after all).

For a vanity project designed to broaden the industry’s perception of this TV season’s favourite hunk, Road to Paloma makes for a watchable, workmanlike, intermittently convincing and compelling western-noir potboiler.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>