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Lost Junction (October 22/04)

Lost Junction makes the pivotal mistake of fooling the viewer into thinking they're watching a film noir, when in fact the movie is essentially a romance. Since Neve Campbell's character, Missy Lofton, spends the majority of the film's running time behaving like a femme fatale, we're not terribly inclined to believe a single thing she says or does. And because the setup of Lost Junction is prototypically film noir-esque - a hapless young man finds himself drawn into the illicit activities of a sultry siren - it's hard not to be baffled by the increasingly conventional and even maudlin plot twists.

Jimmy McGee (Billy Burke) is just passing through the small town of Lost Junction when his car breaks down by the side of the road, though it's not long before Missy just happens by and offers him a lift. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, Missy's hauling her husband's dead corpse around in her trunk. As it's going to take a couple of days for Jimmy's car to be fixed, Missy offers him a place to stay in her large estate - where, of course, sparks invariably fly between the two. The plot thickens when Missy withdraws a small fortune from the bank account she shared with her husband, which raises the suspicions of the town's Sheriff. It's not long before Missy and Jimmy are on the run, allowing Jimmy the chance to face an old childhood friend who's in a wheelchair because of him.

Yup, there's a lot going on in Lost Junction - and yet, the film's deliberate pace often threatens to shut down the entire production. There are far too many sequences here in which Jimmy and Missy have nonsensical discussions on a variety of topics, presumably in an effort to establish some genuine chemistry between the two. But this never happens, primarily because neither Jimmy nor Missy are able to step out of the film noir molds assigned to them. Both characters behave exactly the way we might expect, with Jimmy wrapped around Missy's little finger for virtually the entire film.

And then there's the movie's penchant for bizarre story developments, the most obvious of which appears in the form of a wheelchair-bound character named Matt (Jake Busey). As we learn early on, Jimmy is responsible for Matt's paralysis - something he's never forgiven himself for. We watch as the two eventually reconcile, a development that seems to occur only so Matt can help Jimmy and Missy with their scheme.

Unless you're a die hard fan of one or more of these actors, there's not much in Lost Junction worth getting too excited about. As far as direct-to-video titles go, the film's not as bad as it could've been (which, admittedly, isn't saying all that much).

out of

About the DVD: MGM Home Entertainment presents Lost Junction with a letterboxed transfer, along with several trailers (Walking Tall, Saved!, interMission, Wicker Park, Unspeakable, and Lost Junction).
© David Nusair