Accident Movie Review
Written by Greg Fisher
Released by Well Go USA
Written and Directed by Dan Tondowski
2016, 95 Minutes, Rated R
Released on April 3rd, 2018
Stephanie Schildknecht as Jess
Roxane Hayward as Caroline
Tyrone Keogh as Fred
Keenan Arrison as Thomas
Accident, a film written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker Dan Tondowski, is unfortunately aptly named. So much goes right for this movie, but more goes wrong.
High schoolers Jess and Caroline have gotten tickets for a hot music festival out of town. Caroline's overprotective mother relents, dropping them off at a bus station to get a ride to the festival. Caroline, wanting to go wild, informs Jess that they have no bus tickets, but that she has set up transport for them. Once the bus leaves, Caroline's ride falls through, but they are able to hitch in a flashy car with Fred and Thomas, only after they nearly run Jess over. This level of driving continues, and after an incident, the car hits another and rolls to the edge of a cliff. The four struggle to escape and reconcile with the choices they have made.
The movie is obviously well funded. It was filmed in South Africa, but takes place in the USA. South African actors play Americans, leading to some straying accents, but on a whole, the movie is well acted. The trouble wholly lies in the script that Tondowski wrote and filmed. As the movie progresses, it seems that he makes the most outlandish choices for the characters, and tries to see where the story will go. It starts believably, with Caroline trying to rebel and get a go her own way. However, if the characters are to be believed, the viewer has trouble understanding how her mother did not insist that she drive them to the show and get there safe. She wouldn't allow a bus ride, or not watch them get on the bus in the very least. Next, the girls take a ride from two men that nearly ran Jess over, because clearly this is something that would happen. Also, the men, who look a bit older, near 30, pick up two high school girls for a good time.
Sadly, the most egregious scene comes very early in the film. After the girls accept transportation from Fred and Thomas, the four stop at a gas station for supplies. The girls are shown stripping down to a bikini for Caroline, and lacy panties and a bustier for Jess, talking about the guys and doing makeup in the bathroom while classical music plays. No woman would strip down in a gas stop restroom for one, and the music and T&A are a bit too much for my brain to stay turned off. Suspension of disbelief was cracked, and never repaired.
From then on, the characters miraculously recover from fractured legs, impaling, a botched and ill thought out tracheotomy that is negated within seconds, a possible broken spine, numerous glass cuts, and burns.Add to this Jesus-level healing a subplot of a shady well-financed mercenary team out to track the wrecked car down (but not until well after it crashes, even though they have the technology to know where it is at all times) and the movie simply does not and cannot add up to anything good.
A final note to director Dan Tondowski: even David Fincher grew tired of his stylized camera shots tracing along closeups of objects. That's why he quit it after Panic Room. Please stop. Once is enough in Accident. By the tenth, I was sure the only Accident is sitting through to the idiotic and tasteless denouement.
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