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Movie Reviews

‘Joyride’ review: Predictable road comedy saved by great performances

An enjoyable watch.

Joyride has a premise that promises heartache, life lessons, and friendship. Mully (Charlie Reid) is a twelve year-old on the run from his debt-ridden father. In his escape attempt, he steals a taxi cab and is surprised to find a woman and her baby asleep in the back. What looks like a picture of sweetness takes on a different tone as Joy (Olivia Colman, The Favourite) has decided to give her baby to a friend. The two take off on a trip across Ireland, learning about each other and themselves.

Unsurprisingly, Academy Award winner Colman brings life to an otherwise pedestrian script. Much like her performance as Queen Elizabeth in Netflix’s The Crown, Colman is able to take the simplest phrases and add an air of dignity and power. She does the same with the character of Joy, even though the script seems to be actively working against her. Joyride constantly teases there will be more to Joy, but never goes all-in. It is noticeable, but Colman makes it bearable.

Reid is in a similar situation. Though he does not have the same resume as his co-star, he is able to keep up with Colman the entire time. He is funny and engaging and the two have great chemistry. Much like Joy, Mully is a strangely written character whose shortcomings Reid is able to overcome. He is portrayed as a Baby Whisperer which leads to the film requiring a high suspension of disbelief.

Despite its flaws, Joyride is an enjoyable watch. Along with the strong acting, there are a number of funny moments. The story can be predictable at times, but that is often the case in these types of road trip comedies. When it is hitting on all cylinders, the movie offers great performances and lighthearted and sweet story about family.

Joyride comes to theaters and VOD December 23

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