Monday, December 07, 2009
Best of the Decade: #22: Changing Lanes
The studio wanted you think this was some revenge thriller in the same vein as Double Jeopardy or some other piece of shit. It's not, it is something much more gripping than a superficial concept. Instead this film is about two men who struggle with what is right and how to treat another human being. Its story seems simple. Ben Affleck and Sam Jackson get into a fender bender and spend the rest of the film getting back at one another. Hell, it sounds like the premise of some wacky comedy instead of a deeply intellectual film about morals and ethics. Neither character is deliberately malicious, though their anger gets the better of them at crucial times. They both feel remorse after the fact, but their conflict escalates. Affleck and Jackson show off their best work here.
Screenwriter Michael Tolkin is no stranger to dark films about the human condition. Though it has its faults, check out his The Rapture, which he also directed.