Switchback (1997)

The second serial-killer thriller of the month is just awful.  Oh, 
it starts deceptively okay, with a handful of intriguing characters 
and some solid location work.  After a baby-sitter gets gutted in 
the suitably spooky someone's-in-the-house prologue, parallel stor-
ies unfold, the first involving a Texas sheriff (R. Lee Emery), a 
gruesome double murder, and the arrival of a morose FBI agent (Den-
nis Quaid) on the eve of voting for the local lawman's reelection.  
The second pairs a hitchhiker (Jared Leto) with a friendly former 
railroad worker (Danny Glover).  They're headed west, toward the 
Rockies and away from the murder scene.  Which one is the killer?  
Well, it doesn't really matter, 'cause when writer/first-time dir-
ector Jeb Stuart finally spills the beans, you won't take his 
choice seriously anyway.  The whole thing goes south about an hour 
in, with the tale taking hairpin turns that I certainly couldn't 
follow.  And through the whole thing there's Quaid, playing with 
the most intense monotony this side of Steven Seagal.  I guess I'm 
glad that I didn't walk out-- there's some nice train stuff at the 
end and a fun nod to DR. STRANGELOVE.  (Rated "R"/120 min.)

Grade: F

Copyright 1997 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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