End of the Road (Netflix): this thriller with Queen Latifah comes close to leaving the road

Queen Latifah and Ludacris make a most endearing brother/sister duo in End of the Road, a crazy thriller that has just landed on Netflix. Despite the sympathy that we can feel for the casting, this barred road-movie turns a little in circles.

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For some time now, Netflix original productions have been deliberately muddying the waters. Recently it is Day-Shift which, under the guise of a cool comedy with Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg, quickly turned into an action thriller with vampires. New Russian doll-style feature film (nothing to do with the eponymous series with Natasha Lyonne) from the streaming platform, End of the Road begins as a film about family mourning: recently widowed, Brenda (Queen Latifah) leaves the house she occupied in California, with her children under her arm and a joking brother (Ludacris), heading for New Mexico. On the road, they find themselves face to face with two small strikes which almost cause their car to fall into a ravine. End of the Road turns into a rural thriller when the small family finds themselves witness to a murder in a motel and targeted by a mysterious killer. And she is not at the end of her surprises, just like the spectators…

Queen Latifah and Beau Bridges have fun in Arizona

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End of the Road is a typical example of these B films which would have undoubtedly had a very solid career in VOD before, without going through the cinema box, and which are now the delight of streaming platforms. In 1h30, the film goes through many detours, each more improbable than the other, to bounce the plot. And it is allowed to take an inevitably guilty pleasure in following the adventures of this small family among the rednecks of Arizona or to see Queen Latifah as a super-nurse discovering her talents as an MMA fighter and learning about neo-Nazis. Likewise, it is rather pleasant to find the veteran Beau Bridges who is doing his number as a not really reassuring sheriff. For a bit, End of the Road could have been accompanied by a message on racism in certain American states. But we are not here at Jordan Peele (get-out, Boop)…

End of the Road, beware at the Netflix road exit…

Behind the camera, the experienced Milicent Shelton, who mainly cut her teeth on TV, having directed numerous music videos and episodes of 30Rock, Californication Where My Name Is Earl. It packs the film with a functional and fairly impersonal staging, however enhanced by a photo borrowing its green and red tones from horror cinema (which also infuses the last part of the film). If its casting inspires sympathy, End of the Road ends up losing the viewer with its forced twists and clumsy changes of rhythm. Of series B, the film sometimes frankly eyeing the series Z, just saved by the second degree that it works (a little heavily) to keep. A short trip but ultimately quite exhausting, recommended for the most seasoned drivers with a strong stomach.

End of the Road (Netflix): this thriller with Queen Latifah comes close to leaving the road