Mitchell and Carter, two life-long friends who haven't spent too much time together as of late, venture out on a road trip in an effort to reconnect. While driving through the barren desert their car breaks down, leaving them stranded on an isolated road. As the time passes the two men begin to confront each other about their life decisions, leading to brutal results. Kevin & Michael Goetz's Scenic Route is a sadistic take on the "do what you love" ideal, which finds two friends' contempt towards one and others life decisions boiling over into brutality. Much of the film is spent with the two characters bickering at each other and Scenic Route really gets to the core of these two characters capturing their doubts, beliefs, dreams, hopes, and desires. On the surface each man couldn't be more different with Mitchell being married with a child, and Carter being an unemployed writer, and yet, they both feel hopelessly lost in their current lives. There is a nice dichotomy between these two men, with one being stuck in arrested development while the other has nothing at all to show for himself. There relationship is elliptical, with the two men going back and forth between antagonistic and compassionate until the viewer begins to realize they are really the same type of person, they just chose different paths. I'm not sure I bought the relationship completely, as I think the film could have done more to develop the two characters connection but it's apparent that the director is able to create an atmosphere. Kevin & Michael Goetz emphasize the environment these two men are trapped in with the desert winds and harsh sun slowly wearing down Mitchell and Carter. Scenic Route is an intriguing film that features a pretty fun ending but while its ideals are certainly interesting, it relies a little too much on expositional dialogue at times.
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