Best friends Emily and Lesley go on a road trip to the desert. When Emily decides to get off the highway and take a hort cut,they become the target of a relentless and psychotic trucker who forces them to play a deadly game of cat and mouse.
In the film, WRECKER, with her relationship on the splits, Emily is looking to get away. So to do that, both she and her best friend, Leslie hop into her Mustang and hit the road, and head for the desert. Their destination to us, is uncertain, however they seem to know where it is they are going. However, it is on the way, that they begin to be pursued by a strange tow truck, and it's obvious that its driver has an agenda. Soon, he is either blocking them in, or trailing them, making it a cat and mouse game, seemingly impossible for them to win, as it would appear that the driver is attempting to kill them. When Leslie ends up missing sometime later, and with bodies, as well as cars continuing to pile up, it's up to Emily to out-smart the trucker if she hopes to get out of the ordeal alive.
Now, if you think that the above description sounds a lot like Steven Spielberg's debut film, DUEL, starring Dennis Weaver, you'd be correct. Because right down to the bare details, WRECKER. a film, directed/"co-written" by Michael Bafaro, is essentially what you'd call an "unofficial" remake of Spielberg's on-road classic.
Almost everything about this film, and DUEL is identical. Of course, WRECKER throws in its own little elements here and there to make sure it isn't copying it completely, but at the surface it is exactly the same film, rehashed. Albeit less inspired, and less suspenseful. Yes, they do say that "imitation is the best form of flattery", but sometimes enough is enough, when it comes to films. I mean, maybe WRECKER would be considered effective, if there was not a film out there that predates it by nearly 45 years, that is nearly identical. Sure, this is not the first time DUEL has inspired an indie film with striking similarities. In 2010, we saw the release of RAGE, a film by Chris Witherspoon, it was a film that I liked, because even though similar, it was enough of its own film. WRECKER however, is a film that I felt was too similar. Too similar to the point where a lot of it just feels pointless, and sometimes too predictable for its own good. Like DUEL, this film is kicked off with a relationship spat, and then later, the film's 2 characters find themselves stopping at a local diner, only to find that the killer is among them there. They even look at a number of the diner's patrons, only to wonder if one of them could be "the guy(as of course, they do not know what he looks like). The similarities continue all the way to the end of the film, where there's a "cliffhanger" of an ending, if you know what I mean.
However, with all of that said, WRECKER isn't a film that I hated, or even disliked, it was just a film that I found myself underwhelmed by. Basically this is the equivalent of a DUEL greatest hits compilation. It has the classic film spots, along with some scene remakes that have been re-recorded. It's like the Don Dokken Greatest Hits album, that the DOKKEN frontman re-recorded with the new members. In this case, sure some scenes look the same, yet they are less effective. This isn't a bad film, but why get a glass half full, when you can get a full one?
The film does a few things right. I thought that some of the frantic camera effects where well done, and the acting by the film's lead, Anna Hutchison("Emily") isn't too bad. But all in all, it's nothing to be impressed with. It's a decent enough way to kill some time, but again, why watch this, when there is another better alternative?
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
WRECKER is a film that has already received comparisons of DUEL, and rightfully so. Initially, I treated the reactions of those who had already seem the film as being overreactions. But no, it's true. It's one thing to draw inspiration from another work, but it's another to be inspired just a little too much. In my opinion, WRECKER is just a little too similar to DUEL to be taken completely seriously. It's not a bad film, but on the other hand, it's not too original either.
This film will be released on DVD on January 5, 2015