Anybody who has spent time on YouTube or any other video site will have noticed the incredible amount of dashcam footage videos available. Everything from spectacular crashes, wild driving and just oddities captured in the camera’s eye. Dmitrii Kalashnikov has edited some together a collection of this kind of footage from Russia in THE ROAD MOVIE.
According to Kalashnikov dashcams are so popular in Russia because of a lack of trust. Russians don’t trust the police or their fellow citizens not to lie, so they buy them out of self-defense. And while the footage itself may not bear this out, some of the incredibly cynical conversations recorded along with the footage certainly do. While some of these conversations are quite funny they’re not why anyone will watch THE ROAD MOVIE, the footage is.
Publicity for the film highlighted a quote comparing it to JACKASS and FACES OF DEATH which certainly had me expecting a lot of high-speed crashes and their bloody aftermath. That description does the film a disservice because while there are plenty of wrecks and pile-ups, some of which undoubtedly caused fatalities, there’s more to it to it than just accident footage and it’s distinctly short on blood and bodies.
The balance of the film is filled with oddities such as a meteor falling to Earth, wildlife wandering onto the road, (“A bear, just what we needed”), road rage and other assorted bursts of lunacy and some truly hazardous driving conditions including a particularly tense drive through a raging forest fire.
The main problem with THE ROAD MOVIE is that, like most other collections of unconnected footage, it all becomes a bit repetitive after a while. This isn’t helped by the fact some sequences are allowed to drag on too long in order to capture the conversations. These might be more humorous and entertaining to Russian audiences but they’re just tedious to other ears. These kinds of compilations work best as home video fare that can be started, stopped and fast forwarded at will rather than taken in one large dose and it’s that market that THE ROAD MOVIE is best suited to.
Oscilloscope Laboratories will open THE ROAD MOVIE theatrically in five cities on January 19th, 2018 with other cities to follow.