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Friday, April 12, 2002

Road rage

Movie: Changing Lanes

Posted on Fri, Apr 12, 2002 at 4:00 AM

***
Changing Lanes
Length: 1 hour, 39 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Website: http://www.changinglanes.com/
Release Date: 2002-04-12
Cast: Ben Affleck, Samuel L Jackson, Toni Collette, Sydney Pollack, Amanda Peet
Director: Roger Michell
Screenwriter: Michael Tolkin, Chap Taylor, Anthony Picharillo
WorkNameSort: Changing Lanes
Our Rating: 3.00

A particularly ill-timed fender bender between two commuters--one a high-flying, soulless corporate lawyer (Ben Affleck), the other an insurance agent and 12-stepper (Samuel L. Jackson)--results in a drastically escalating vendetta between the two. Both are on their way to court: Gavin Banek (Affleck) to argue for his law firm's dubious financial stake in a nonprofit, Doyle Gipson (Jackson) for a child-custody hearing. But because Doyle's a no-show for the judge (having been stranded on the median strip after his run-in with Banek), things don't turn out well for him. Long story short: Gipson has something of Banek's that is crucial to the latter's case, and Banek will stop at nothing to get his hands on it, setting the stage for lots of vengeance-fueled mayhem. As directed by Roger Michell ("Notting Hill"), "Changing Lanes" is a bit preachy at times, and is so fast-moving and action-packed that it's a little over-the-top to be believable. But as an unflinching investigation into the true-to-life challenges of integrity and self-reliance in an increasingly chaotic, morally ambiguous, and uncaring world, "Lanes" is a welcome cinematic change of pace.

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