Joyride is one of those movies you sit through patiently, all the while wondering when something interesting is going to happen.Various unsavory characters bounce around the screen, each stopping occasionally to do something violent or stupid. A handful of banal plot curves appear, clearly under the impression that they’re somehow new or interesting. The viewer has just enough time to wonder what the overall point of the movie is…before the end credits show up.
Produced in 1996 and just now making its way to home video (thanks to the newfound stardom of a few participants), Joyride is a run-of–the-mill deep-south White Trash Noir that focuses on three disaffected teens and their ill-timed theft of a lady assassin’s automobile. J.T. helps run his father’s dilapidated roadside motel, a dry and dusty spot where very little usually happens. Still reeling from the arrival of the gorgeous (yet seedy) Tanya, J.T. is feeling a little brave. Along with his loyal pal James, J.T. makes off with the car of a new arrival. The three young felons find themselves in deep water when a sloppy corpse is discovered in the car’s trunk.
Though James logically asserts that they should come clean, J.T. and Tanya seem tickled pink by the trouble they’ve run across. An altercation with some local bullies leads the police to J.T.’s home but the friends mysteriously clam up when questioned. But that lady hitman has a bone to pick with the obnoxious car thieves.
Were it not for the appearances of Tobey Maguire and Benicio Del Toro, Joyride would most likely still be lying on some distributor’s shelf. (Though fans should take note that this obscure indie flick in no way represents either performer’s finest work.) Joyride plows through its crime flick checklist of unsavory characters and rote plot divergences with a dreary efficiency.
And were it not for a stunningly bizarre cameo by Adam West (as a dust bowl pimp!) and the presence of two normally reliable actors trudging through tedium, this one would be all but unwatchable.Fans of criminally adorable young blondes may appreciate the presence of the lusty Amy Hathaway but even her winsome visage can’t save this tired tale.