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Directing Like a Wrecking Ball


Wrecker Review

One of the favorite pasttimes of cynical movie patrons is to point out subliminal advertising in films. Generally, the three most common forms are beverages (such as Coca-Cola or Budweiser), computers (Apple is everywhere when you're looking for it), and cars (the ever-popular zoom in to the make and model). Usually we can all have a good laugh when we deem the advertising excessive, especially when one can assume that the funding for said film didn't call for additional assistance from a "sponsor" and the studio is attempting to reap all the benefits of the production. But occasionally you will notice the advertising go too far, to the point that it is not only distracting in the film, but directly altering the story. Considering the realm of films I find myself in, the usual suspect is a car company looking to show off their latest model.

***SPOILERS***

When watching Wrecker in this light, you realize fairly quickly it is one large advertisement. And when you realize what this advertisement is for, you know that nothing all-that exciting is going to happen as long as said product is on the screen. Because the sponsor for this film, which apparently paid for the whole production based on its power over the film's direction, isn't going to let anything happen to its baby. The Ford Mustang was the vehicle of choice as our film's main character, where the supporting cast and entire plot is based around this car's safety and it saving the day. Basically, this hero isn't going to be Found On the Road Dead.

It is almost the 1 hour mark of the film before our faceless, tow-truck-driving villain does anything directly malevolent. Up to that point he's merely been a passive-aggressive driver. In fact the only direct effect he's had on our protagonist is changing the tire on her fancy Mustang when she knocks herself unconscious in a field running from him. Yes, mind games from a villain in a horror film can raise the tension, but in this case it was boring and silly, especially when you realize he's not going to do anything to our protagonist as long as she's in that high-octane "tank".

The only time the Wrecker can catch up to our heroine is when she is pinned behind a slower vehicle, because we couldn't have a suped-up tow truck be able to go toe-to-toe with our lead brand. And in these moments, our villain merely taps the bumper, which, surprisingly doesn't even scratch the paint off our hot-rod-red speedster. And in the waning moments of this fairly uneventful film (all of the victims are very subtly implied with the exception of one unfortunate cop) our hero, the Mustang, pushes a teetering tow truck off a ledge after it loses in a game of chicken. This is followed by a weak moment of CGI of the crashing truck. They couldn't even give us a decent crash scene.

This film could have been a PG Disney Channel original if it weren't for the sports car-obligatory boob-flash at the beginning and the language. It's hard to see any redeeming qualities from this film. The acting from our lead isn't horrible, but her decision making and the over-arching plot of the "awesomeness" of the Ford Mustang is so debilitating to anything remotely good the film does that I can't help but hate it. Despite my constant critique, I do try to find the good in every film. But don't hand me a beer and call it cream soda. This film isn't a horror/thriller movie. It's an ad.

Horror Qualifier: 3/10

Horror Quality: 1/10

Film Quality: 1/10

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