New from Reel Talker by Jim Alexander: Movie Review: Traffik

The best kind of movies are the ones that stay with you long after they are over. Movies that make you reflect on your life in relation to it. It’s not common to come across a movie that impacts you that way. Traffik is that unique movie that will have you thinking and Googling all about what you see. Here is the full breakdown of the film:

WHAT’S THIS MOVIE ABOUT:

This is an interesting movie to describe. It’s actually a tale of two halves. The first half is a real solid action thriller, that’s both gripping and engaging. The second half continues the intrigue, but adds a heavy important layer of truth. In a sense, comparable to a documentary.

Writer and director Deon Taylor brings a real issue to light—human trafficking. We’ve seen movies hint or portray trafficking before. Heck, Eli Roth did it with Hostel years ago, but not in the way that Taylor manages to do it. What Taylor brings to the surface is not only human trafficking, but human trafficking that’s occurring in our backdoors, domestically.

Traffik

The quick synopsis sees Omar Epps and Paula Patton’s characters have their weekend getaway ruined by a biker gang. The gang is out for them and carrying plenty of dangerous secrets.

HOW DID THE ACTORS DO: 

Paula Patton turns any role into gold that she takes. No different here where she’s playing Brea. She’s fantastic. What Patton does so well is she’s relatable and knows how to be playful on-screen, but turn to a serious side within a snap of the fingers. Her role in Traffic requires her to show some real vulnerability, which she does flawlessly.

Omar Epps delivers on his end. His character John is cool and calm under a lot of chaos, but steps up when he needs to protect Brea.

Traffik

Luke Goss plays this slick villain. He’s oddly polite and subtly intimidating. The quiet terror.

Taylor assembles a talented and versatile cast that meshes well together and deliver fine performances.

HOW DOES THE MOVIE LOOK AND SOUND:

As far as the look, it’s has the perfect aura of a good thriller. It has this dark moody look that correlates to what’s happening on-screen. For example, when things aren’t chaotic and the plot is developing earlier on, most of the scenes take place in the bright daylight. Now, when things start getting ugly and dangerous, the scenes take place in middle of night in a desolate area. Perfect mood and ideal look to it.

The sound and music is fitting to the on-screen action. That’s a good thing.

WAS IT ENTERTAINING:

Hell yeah this movie is entertaining. It grips you and has your attention from early on. Actually, it’s a bit of a love story initially. You have no idea where it all will end up. The car and motorcycle chase scene is thrilling in itself and well shot. This movie has a really nice build that isn’t rushed and has good pacing to it.

It’s hard not to enjoy these actors bring it their all. Theme aside, this is a really entertaining thriller. You follow these characters and they uncover the truths and fight for their lives.

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You will be entertained and educated also. Win-win situation. Credit Taylor for blending the entertainment while still maintaining the big picture message and warning about human trafficking.

IS IT WORTH SEEING:

Most definitely this is a must-see movie. It’s important to be educated and made aware of an issue that’s happening right in front of us on a daily basis that affects us and people around us. It could be your child, friend, girlfriend, sister, mother, wife. No one is safe from this hidden silent pandemic.

The stats and numbers that are shared at the end of the movie will surely startle you. Hopefully it will make you want to research and find out more about human trafficking and how we need to be more conscious of it and have conversations about it.

Some scenes will make you cringe, but it’s the sort of cringe that needs to be witnessed. Traffik is the most important PSA movie you’ll see this year. Smart, crafty, slick filmmaking with an entertaining plot and gravitating performances. It’s terrifying and feels so real.

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PROS:

  • Important message 
  • Entertaining plot 
  • Fine performances 

CONS:

  • Nothing that stands out

Traffik is a unique mix of fun and scary, with an important message at its core. This film is a conversation starter. Nothing can replace the power of that. I couldn’t help but think about this film for days after. It stuck with me. From personal experience, I always go into a movie with the hope that it can affect me and stay with me. Traffik does that. It educated me and made me a lot more aware of this international and domestic issue we don’t focus enough about as a society. I wanted to learn more about it and start those conversations that need to be had.

VERDICT: Deon Taylor made a movie that will impact people’s lives. It’s bigger than this review, Rotten Tomatoes score or any criticism or commentary it receives. The message is what stands out, and he delivers it in a startling way that will force you to notice. Consider this topic of conversation, started. 

‘TRAFFIK’ SCORE: 95% 

  • GENRE: Thriller
  • RATING: R
  • RUNTIME: 1 hr 36 min
  • RELEASE DATE: April 20, 2018

TRAFFIC is playing in theaters nationwide 

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