Having not grown up with acting skills in her past, Queen Latifah has turned out to be a decent actress. In fact, she started out as a rapper. As it were she’s not the only rapper turned actor. Her career is as varied as Last Holiday to The Equalizer, a reboot of the old tv show from the 80s, and the recent film series starring Denzel Washington. Her latest film, End of the Road, has a bit of the same flare as The Equalizer. Throw in some action to boot.
Brenda (Queen Latifah) is a mother of two children. She is forced to move to Houston, Texas with her children and her brother, Reggie (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) the kid’s uncle because of some financial difficulties she got into due to medical bills for her deceased husband, the father of her children. On the way to Houston, the family unadvisedly becomes witnesses to a murder in the hotel room next to the one they were staying at. This gets them embroiled in a fight for their lives.
This film has a MacGuffin that drives the entire plot of the film, but it doesn’t drag the film down. It actually helps make the movie better because it creates action sequences and car chases that make for a more intense thrill ride of a film. Beau Bridges plays a sheriff with an agenda and he has plans that the family didn’t know about until he gets more involved in the search for them and the MacGuffin.
The director Millicent Shelton sets the film in the desert and that creates a muted look to the movie. The dust and dirt make for a cloudy look during the nighttime scenes and during the day the cameras capture the beauty of the west even going to an old west town in one sequence during the movie. The cinematography as a whole isn’t that good. This might have something to do with the budget, but who knows?
Netflix greenlights a lot of different kinds of films, some good and some bad. They have a lot of money so they spend it on a lot of different types of films and series. They want to see what sticks to the wall. End of the Road isn’t the best film you’ll see this year but it’s not the worst either. This film will probably appeal to a certain demographic of the American public and that’s fine. Movies need to appeal to a wide margin of people. This film does just that.
End of the Road is a fun actioner with a few bigger named stars in Latifah, Bridges, and Bridges, from different families. The MacGuffin keeps the film moving forward and it helps create most of the action that the characters get involved with. The look of the film, especially at night, isn’t that great due to the filming locations in the west. A specific demographic of society will love this movie. It’s just not going to be for everybody. Netflix is trying to appeal to everybody and this might be the ticket for some.
2 ½ stars
Dan Skip Allen
Netflix Sept 9th