The Hitcher (2007)
Film: The Hitcher
Director: Dave Meyers
Writer: Eric Red, Jake Wade Wall and Eric Bernt
Starring: Sean Bean, Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton
This film begins with a young man pulling up to a curb; he is played by Zachary Knighton. He calls someone and tells them to wake up because they are late. The person he calls turns out to be his girlfriend, Sophia Bush. She runs out of her dorm and then gets into the car with Knighton. She then changes and soon after they get going, she needs to use the restroom.
They are having a good drive to a lake where they are going to meet up with her friends who Knighton hasn’t met yet. It starts to rain and they see a car pulled over on the side of the road. Knighton almost hits the man who is standing beside it and he spins out. Bush doesn’t like how this feels and the man approaches them. The car won’t start and she doesn’t want to wait to see who the man is. Knighton gets it started and leaves.
The couple then comes to a gas station where they get gas and snacks. Bush also uses the restroom again. Knighton talks to the man who is running the counter and tells them about the broken down car and the man by it. He asks if a tow truck could be sent out to help him. The man working the counter tells him that the driver won’t be back for some time.
A semi pulls up as Knighton is pumping gas and man exits it. He goes to use the payphone and he is played by Sean Bean. Both go inside the store and clerk asks the man if he is the guy Knighton and Bush saw. It turns out it is and Bean knows they left him there. Knighton then offers to give him a ride to a hotel.
The drive starts out fine with Knighton and Bean in the front and Bush in the back. The conversation is cordial until Bean asks Knighton an inappropriate question about Bush. Bean then pulls out a knife and hits his finger with it. He then grabs Bush and puts the knife to her check. He commands Knighton to keep driving and then puts the knife to his throat. Bean broke Knighton’s cell phone before all of this started and then Bush was taken before she could complete the call. Knighton slams on the breaks, Bean hits his head on the windshield and then they knock him out of the door.
Their journey goes on without a hitch until they are passed by a car. There is a family of five in it. One of them is holding a stuffed frog in front of his face in the very back. When the car is in front of the couple, it turns out to be Bean. Knighton and Bush then pull alongside the family in an attempt to warn them of Bean. They do not succeed and crash their car when they are forced off the road by a semi truck.
They are then greeted by their worst fears, the vehicle for the family is found with everyone dead, except the father, who is bleeding out. They take the car and try to get him some help. They are then chased by Bean who is now in a pick-up truck. The couple goes to a diner. Bush goes inside and meets with a local woman that works there, played by Yara Martinez. Bush asks for a towel, but is directed to the bathroom where they have paper towels. Martinez calls the police, who show up and arrest the couple.
The Sheriff is played by Skip O’Brien and he has Bush in an interrogation room while Knighton is taken to a cell by Travis Schuldt. Something weird happens when a phone is ringing and no one will answer it. O’Brien goes to check on it and then we see Bean behind the one-way mirror. He draws a face in blood around Bush’s face. She gets out and finds the sheriff dead. She then goes to free Knighton. As they escape, more police show up.
There is a man in charge, played by Neal McDonough. He deduces that there is a third suspect. Knighton is almost arrested by another cop when Bush pulls out a gun on him. Bean kills the cop and the couple takes his car. They start a high speed chase and McDonough tries to get them to stop. The problem is that Bean shows up and takes out the police.
Can Bean be stopped? Can this couple get away from him before it is too late? Who is Bean?
I just need to lead off stating that this film becomes a little bit outrageous. I feel that it starts off well enough. We have a cute young couple, I really find Bush to be attractive, who are going on a nice trip. They almost hit a man standing in the middle of the road in the rain. Being kids still, I could see them not wanting to pick up a strange man. I also think that Bean did a fine job as the psychopath in this film. What really makes him great, is that is calculating in almost move he makes and could have gotten away with it if he stopped when he was ahead. He could have pinned everything on this couple. I also liked McDonough as well. He does have a commanding presence. I like the concept of this film and the story wasn’t bad. As stated though, it gets out of control.
Now with that said, that was really my problem with it. The high speed chase scene was fun to watch, but it is out of place. I don’t believe that Bean could have taken out all the police that he did. I guess he could have the training, but it is never established what his background is. I’m not always opposed to this, but this film has him acting like a Special Forces soldier. I think this ends up ruining some of the realism for me that a film like this really needs.
Now with that said, I enjoyed this film despite how it plays out in the end. I thought that casting was solid from the four stars of the film. The concept is good. The story was at first, but then gets way too out of control for my liking. Now I have never seen the original, so I don’t know if that is something that happens in that one as well, but I do plan to watch that one at some point. I did watch this one first. Don’t come in expecting too much from this film, it does have some good parts and it just missed is mark a little at what it is trying to do. This film is not a bad watch though in my opinion.
My Rating: 6 out of 10