Changing Lanes (2002)

Director Roger Mitchell

Written by Chap Taylor & Michael Tolkin

Ben Affleck, Samuel L Jackson, Kim Staunton, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, Amanda Peet, Sydney Pollack, Dylan Baker, Matt Molloy, Tina Sloan, Bruce Altman, Joe Grifasi.

Gavin (Affleck) is an eager young lawyer whose firm is in the last steps of taking over a charity organisation from its late owner.

Doyle (Jackson) is a divorced father, showing his family he has changed, in AA for his addictions and has saved enough money to buy his family a house before they move interstate. 

One morning the two men are on their way to court, they are involved in a minor fender bender, which leaves Doyle stranded on the side of the road – Gavin leaves the accident and an important document Gavin needs at the accident scene. More importantly, he may have taken the signature on said document unethically.

Soon the two men find themselves in a game of wits as the young lawyer is desperate to get the documents back, and will try anything in order to do so.

I could not find too many things I enjoyed about this film this time around, having enjoyed it so much when it first came out. On re-watch, there are more downs than ups.

Some of the acting is a little wooden, and almost seems painful for the actors performing the roles. The MVP goes to Jackson, who I feel is incapable of putting out a poor performance.

Within the script there is far too much exposition thrown in – especially for the character of Doyle. While when the story meets him, we see him as a well adjusted individual – it feels almost alien that characters act so hostile towards him – especially Hurt’s character – his AA sponsor.

The score is a little flat, and when there is some semblance of non-diegetic sound, it feels outdated even for 2002.

At a little over 90m, it is also a bit of a drag to get through.

I found this film to be a letdown, despite some impressive cast members. The problem is the screenplay, with far too many overused Hollywood clichés used. Examples such as; the young lawyer works at his father in laws firm. The young lawyer is having (or had) an affair. The divorced dad is actually a ‘nice guy’.

The nostalgia does not hold up on this one.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: