"The Road" Loses Its Way

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It has been my lot recently, for a number of weeks, to watch what I had hoped would be good or "plus" movies, only to end up panning them. It ain't my fault, and as the age-old adage goes, I implore you, don't kill the messenger. This film, regrettably, I must consign to the ash heap.

The story is that of what follows the near end of civilization occurring after a cataclysmic tragedy which is never fully explained. It could have been a nuclear war or a volcano eruption, like that which occurred at Mt. St. Helens which devastated everything in its path and much bigger than that of Mt. St. Helens. The sets which are of rural America are of devastated areas where the trees remaining are shortened in height and falling down or are already lying on the ground.

The two principals are the unnamed father played by Viggo Mortensen and his son played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, who is about 12 to 14 years old. They trudge along the roads trying to reach the sea and avoid marauders who are looking for food and engaged in cannibalism. The boy calls his dad "Poppa" and often asks the question, "Are we the good guys?" Poppa always answers yes and in response to a second question which is, "Will we ever engage in cannibalism?, answers no. There is a flashback which shows the boy's mother who disappears early in the film, played by Charlize Theron. She is totally wasted in this film.

On two occasions when they encounter lone travelers, the boy is far more decent in his responses to their needs than is Poppa, who is threatening and protective of the food needs of his son and himself. It all sounds like it could have been fascinating, particularly when it becomes clear that Poppa, who has been wounded by someone using a bow and arrow, will soon die and leave sonny boy alone in this cruel world. But, it wasn't fascinating at all. The movie looked like it cost $500 to make, excluding actors' salaries, which were worth another $500. I was bored to death, but became a little involved when the father and son find a can of soda and upon drinking it, the boy says, "It tastes bubbly," and I thought, maybe I should go get a soda and some popcorn to make this experience more palatable. But I didn't, because I wanted to report that I had seen the whole movie and nothing occurred that changed my mind to cause me to do anything but warn you against seeing it.

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Ed Koch was mayor of NYC from 1978 to 1989. He's credited with restoring fiscal stability to the city and creating affordable housing. He's also a film buff. More

Mayor Koch saved New York City from bankruptcy and restored the pride of New Yorkers during his three terms as mayor from 1978-1989. He restored fiscal stability by placing the city on a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) balanced budget. He created a housing program that provided more than 150,000 units of affordable housing and created New York City's first merit judicial selection system. Prior to being mayor, Mr. Koch served for nine years as a congressman and two years as a member of the New York City Council. He attended City College of New York from 1941 to 1943. He was drafted into the Army his last year of college and served with the 104th Infantry Division. He received two battle stars and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1946. He received his LL.B. degree from the New York University School of Law in 1948 and began to practice law immediately thereafter. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP and hosts a call-in radio program on Bloomberg AM 1130 (WBBR). Mr. Koch appears weekly on NY1 television and is the author of ten autobiographical books.
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