The Truck Stops Here
By: Chris Darkes - March 21, 2015
Category : People
With the new Fast & The Furious film Furious 7 coming up a lot of people are really looking forward to seeing the late Paul Walker make his final onscreen performance. Albeit with the help of his two brothers covering a lot of his scenes. Sadly, the movie was only about halfway through filming while the tragic death of Paul Walker occurred on November 30, 2013. This plagued not only the family and fans of Mr. Walker, but also the producers of the picture. Here they had a built-in fanbase and franchise, a budget of of $250 million (with $50 million of that coming from the insurance company covering the cost overruns and heavy effects.) It put Universal in a real weird spot. Without being offensive or insensitive – how do they go about finishing a movie where one of the lead actors who has in been in all 7 films is no longer available? Let’s rewind for a moment. They have made 7 of these films?!
Like a lot of people my age, I had seen the original film when it first hit theaters in 2001. The loud soundtrack, fast cars, action-heavy plot, and enough testosterone to make a Gold’s Gym envious was exactly what a high school kid wanted out of a summer film. People in my class couldn’t stop talking about it. People were modifying their cars. High School street racing became a big part of the culture during the time. I think a lot of the film still holds up. I can’t really speak for the subsequent films or the acting, but the audience was willing to compensate for the fun storyline. It was light and not looking to win an Oscar. But more than the original film, I have a soft spot for a Paul Walker film role that I can’t help but enjoy.
That film is called Joyride. The film was released right after the original Fastfilm, but I think was filmed beforehand. I had seen this movie at a friend’s house on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Truth be told, we stumbled across it while flipping through channels. But for a relatively low budget film, the cinematography was damn good. The premise is great. It starts with Walker in a UC Berkeley dorm talking to his long distance girlfriend who attends University of Colorado.
As a chivalrous gesture, rather than have her fly home the boring way, he offers to drive her back for a more scenic trip. She accepts. The only issue is, he doesn’t have a car. So what does a cash strapped college student do? Easy, he buys this junker 1971 Chrysler Newport from a used car dealership. Before he can get out of town though, his mom calls to tell him his older brother Fuller (played by Steve Zahn) has just made bail in Salt Lake City, and asks to be picked up. Walker abides. Much to Paul’s dismay, Fuller invites himself on the road trip to Colorado.
While at a rest stop, Fuller picks up a CB radio to break the tension in the car and have a little fun. He begins pranking truck drivers while on the road, and asks Paul to play a girl’s voice named “Candy Cane.” They get the attention of a cryptic trucker who identifies himself with the CB handle “Rusty Nail.” As they approach a motel for the night, they offer to meet. (While still in the woman’s voice of Candy Cane.)
Now this may be my favorite sequence of events. From the moment they pull up, you know it’s going to get crazy. The scene plays out like Beethoven’s 9th. Perhaps a visual representation is better suited for this part of the story…
Okay so they pull up to the motel. While Fuller tries to strike a deal with the motel attendant, Paul sits quietly in the car. The sound of cold rain tapping on the windows and hood set the mood. While waiting patiently, he hears —
He freezes. As Fuller gets back into the car, Paul tells him that Rusty Nail keeps asking if anyone out there knows Candy Cane. Fuller decides he knows what to do. He convinces Walker to tell Rusty Nail to meet at the Lone Star Motel to meet up with Candy Cane.
Immediately after he does it, Paul regrets his decision. Fuller on the other hand feels fine about it. So after that, they decide to head in for the night.
Once they get into their motel room, they have a short exchange about their family life and how they don’t know anything about each other. This lasts for a little bit until they hear the sounds of truck brakes. They immediately hit the lights and shut off the t.v. Because they gave Rusty Nail the room next to theirs they listen in on what ensues.
It ends up that Rusty Nail (naturally) isn’t who he appears to be and when the guy in the room begins yelling that he disturbed him, Rusty Nail rips his jaw clean off.
The two brothers don’t really know what happens because all they hear is a gasp and then silence. But they both deep down know they made a big mistake. I won’t go into too many details about the rest of the film, but it’s not without its flaws. You have to suspend your disbelief quite a bit, but likeFast and the Furious, you accept it knowing you’re going to have a great viewing experience.
I wasn’t really planning to do a movie review, just wanted to take a moment and give you a taste of this particular scene. It’s a shame Walker didn’t make more movies like this one. I think it’s an unexplored niche. That is until Shoe Factory Road. Sure Joyride is cheesy in parts, gory in others, but it has a really entertaining story written by J.J Abrams, and a good moral to it as well. R.I.P. Paul Walker.