REVIEW: ‘End of the Road’ is a Haphazard Action Film

Reading Time: 3 minutes

End of the Road - But Why Tho

End of the Road is Netflix’s latest action thriller directed by and co-written by Christopher J. Moore and David Loughery. It stars Queen Latifah, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Mychala Lee, and Shaun Dixon in a family cross-country road trip that quickly transforms into a highway to hell.

Following the passing of her husband, Brenda (Latifah) makes the tough decision to move her family to Texas with her brother Reggie (Bridges) and her children, Cam and Kelly. Unfortunately, while staying at the rundown motel, the family of four become witnesses to a brutal murder. Now the family finds themselves targeted by a notorious crime boss, Mr. Cross. Brenda has to find a way to save her family as they travel through the New Mexico desert and are cut off from any help. 

The premise of End of the Road is pretty intriguing at first, but ultimately it just does not quite deliver the high action and thrills that it promises. It has a basic action-thriller story structure, but the subplot crime story is not that intriguing. At the same time, the tensions between Brenda and her family after the death of her husband make for exciting drama at first. But it all comes off as pretty surface level at most and not touched on again.

Even what is supposed to be a shocking twist in the film’s third act is not shocking in the least bit. Honestly, the bad guy and plot become pretty predictable early on. The bad pacing, short runtime, and numerous plot holes also do not do the film any favors. In the end, the story of End of the Road feels haphazardly thrown together.  

The film does not miss a chance, at least, to touch on the racial tensions subtext throughout the film. The underlying message of racial tension is one of the few things I can accept in this sloppily thrown-together plot. If the film were not to touch on the racism and dangers a Black family of four would encounter traveling alone in predominantly white areas would be foolish. Even though it can come off a bit heavy-handed in some scenes, it is necessary to touch on it in this movie. 

Queen Latifah’s performance is one of this film’s very few saving graces. Being familiar with her action star performance from The Equalizer television series, one would think End of the Road would utilize Latifah’s action/thriller experience to her full extent. However, that is not the case in this film. The writing limits Latifah’s character and does not allow her to show off her full range as an action star.

Do not get me wrong, Latifah’s character is a brave badass mama bear in her own right who manages to overcome various obstacles to save her family. Brenda manages to escape the most dangerous predicaments using her wits and bravery. However, the End of the Road feels like it depends too much on the audience suspending belief. Especially during some of the most intense moments in the film.

For example, in one scene, Brenda is taken prisoner by a racist trailer park gang in the desert. Brenda is surrounded and handcuffed by what seems like a dozen people. But somehow, she manages to break free and escape unscathed. The fighting in this scene is just plain sloppy. Audiences will be sorely mistaken if they look for action sequences akin to something like Liam Neisan’s Taken in End of the Road. Overall, the fight choreography is non-existent, which puts more of a damper on the action in End of the Road.

As far as the supporting cast performances go, they are not bad by any means, but they do not carry much weight throughout the film. The banter between Bridges and Latifah’s characters is excellent and conveys sibling chemistry on screen. Even Lee and Dixon’s performances do an excellent job of selling the family dynamic. In contrast, the villain’s performance is very predictable and not that enthralling at all. 

In what is supposed to be a high-octane action-thriller, End of the Road does not deliver much of action or thrills promised. This film is a predictable B-action movie filled with plot holes at best. Queen Latifah carries a hefty brunt of the film with her performance and the chemistry between her and her fellow castmates. However, the film’s writing, plot holes, and rushed pacing can not be saved by her performance alone. 

End of the Road is steaming now exclusively on Netflix.


End of the Road
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

In what is supposed to be a high-octane action-thriller, End of the Road does not deliver much of action or thrills promised. This film is a predictable B-action movie filled with plot holes at best. Queen Latifah carries a hefty brunt of the film with her performance and the chemistry between her and her fellow castmates. However, the film’s writing, plot holes, and rushed pacing can not be saved by her performance alone. 

But Why Tho? A Geek Community
%d bloggers like this: