Cast: Jessie T. Usher, Bella Thorne, Will Brill
Written by: Jeremy Ungar
Directed by: Jeremy Ungar
Running Time: 1h16m
Reviewed by: Philip Wade
A struggling actor by day, James (Jessie T. Usher, Independence Day: Resurgence) pays his bills by driving people around Los Angeles for a ride sharing service. His night starts out like any other, but he can’t believe his luck when he picks up the beautiful Jessica (Bella Thorne, Assassination Nation), and they immediately hit it off. His next fare, the fast-talking Bruno (Will Brill, “The OA”), convinces James to go back and invite her to join them for a wild night out. But things take a shocking turn when Bruno, armed with a gun and a twisted idea of fun, forces them on a terrifying, white-knuckle ride that quickly spirals out of control.
Ride starts out much the same way Collateral did with Tom Cruise and Jaime Foxx. We have a cab driver, in this case a rideshare driver, starting his night by picking up a beautiful woman. They hit it off. In Collateral the driver gets her number, in Ride the driver gets invited to the bar to meet up with his client. The in both movies the driver then drops off his client and the next client gets into the car and they discuss life and missed opportunities and dreams. The passenger emboldens the driver and his outlook on life. Turns out the passenger is a killer who has a plan for his driver, plans the driver might not survive.
Both movies have a lot of interaction between driver and passenger. In Collateral, that dialogue is broken up by action and suspense as Tom Cruise’s Vincent puts his cabbie through the paces as he kills his way through a hitlist.
In Ride, our passenger Bruno, enchants his very reluctant driver to bend and break the rules for him. Then encourages him to get the girl and go on his first date with her. What transpires has less action, but in some ways more intense than it’s bigger budget spiritual cousin.
Bruno is a suave character. At first both James, and the audience don’t really like him. He’s standoffish and overbearing. He breaks rules and throws money around to salve hurt feelings and overcome hard felt beliefs.
As time progresses he grows on James and his interest in James leads to him giving the actor a boost of confidence and more money. Culminating in James returning to pick up Jessica while being advised by Bruno on how to approach and handle her. What follows is a night that degrades into terror for Jessica an James as Bruno reveals himself to be a crazed and controlling psychopath who takes them on a ride against their will, for reasons that are his own.
Ride is a thriller. Dialogue heavy as most of the action in this takes place inside James’ car. The characters are well played and what little action there is, tends to be short, but intense as you’re left unsure what the outcome will be.
The movie is just over an hour and fifteen minutes long. Despite the amount of talking in this film, it still seems natural and reasonable. Even when it becomes too much, the dialogue sets the malaise in place that falls over the characters caught in the trap.
I enjoyed this fun little thriller. If you’re looking for some decent and believable acting, this movie won’t run too long nor is it too heavy to digest in one sitting. Perfect way to kill some time one lazy evening.