Reviews

Changing Lanes

3

With serious studio dollar now riding on Ben Affleck's every outing, the lantern-jawed actor's elusive natural brand seems ever more problematic. You can just see the weary execs passing round his mugshot: "Could he be a CIA op and, um, save the world?". Or: "Waaait, maybe he should wear crimson leather!" Amazing what can seem like a good idea at 3am. What Affleck actually looks like is a rich-kid lawyer arsehole. And he's impressive playing just that, opposite Samuel L Jackson's blue-collar struggler, in Roger Michell's gripping thriller Changing Lanes.

This stylish slowburner sees two very different men pitted against each other throughout a day of escalating tit for tat, following a rush-hour fender bender that costs them both dearly. But despite the seething dog-eat-dog tension - reminiscent of the urban claustrophobia in Falling Down - there's nowhere credible for the premise to go, Michell motoring through three different endings in a quest to find the right one.

Cop-out final reel aside, though, this is a taut, well-acted morality tale.

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: June 1st 2003