Starring Scott Eastwood, Freddie Thorp, Ana de Armas, Gaia Weiss, Clemens Schick, Joshua Fitoussi, Kaaris, Simon Abkarian. Directed by Antonio Negret. (2017, 93 min). PARAMOUNT
Overdrive is underwhelming.
Some of you might remember Clint Eastwood's The Rookie, where he played a grizzled cop trying to bust an elite batch of high-end car thieves. The movie was all kinds of stupid, but the mindless action coupled with Eastwood's stoic charisma made it at-least watchable. Overdrive could use a lot more of both.
Starring in his own car-heist movie, Scott Eastwood may be the spitting image of Dad, but the similarities pretty much end there, making him a pretty bland leading man. But he's not really the film's biggest problem and he's admittedly stuck with a dull, generic character. Ironically, Eastwood has shown more ability playing uptight dorks, like his supporting turn in The Fate of the Furious.
Speaking of which, Overdrive treats awfully familiar ground, which comes as no surprise since the screenplay is by the same pair who wrote 2 Fast 2 Furious. In fact, the movie plays a lot like a scaled back entry in that franchise. Eastwood and Freddie Thorp are a couple of super-thieves who specialize in hoisting exotic cars. When they run afoul of a powerful French mob boss, they offer to steal a priceless Ferrari from his chief rival. This is easier said than done, of course, so they must put together a crew consisting of the usual eclectic batch of too-cool-to-be-scared thrill-seekers.
While originality is tough to come by these days, especially in teen-centric action movies, Overdrive never really takes off in the action department either. There's a couple of chases bookending the film that are adequately shot, but without much panache (director Antonio Nergret's background is mostly in television). In between are dull stretches of exposition where more characters are introduced and the caper is planned. And of course, we also have the prerequisite love interests for the two brothers because, you know, they're such studs.
Neither great or completely terrible, Overdrive is ultimately the kind of assembly-line movie where one can accurately predict nearly every scene and plot turn long before it happens. In fact, you could leave the room for extended periods and still know exactly what's going on at any given moment.
- FEATURETTES: "The Caper"; "The Crew"; "The Cars" (Brief segments, mostly featuring the director)
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