Backflash (2002)

This is a low budget, direct to video movie directed by Phil Jones that borrows a lot from Quentin Tarantino and other directors of popular twisty-funny-action packed films of recent years. While Backflash is definitely derivative and not a great film, it’s a lot better than I expected it to be.

It’s a fairly typical plot for this kind of film,  full of twists, betrayals and humorously grotesque villains. It starts off with a straight-laced guy named Ray who is taking a break from running his video store. He picks up an attractive ex-con hitchhiker named Harley (Jennifer Esposito) -the kind of hitchhiker that you only see in the movies- and trouble naturally follows.

The problem with movies like Backflash is that once you’ve seen a few of them, you start to expect the supposedly unpredictable twists. Still, this one actually held my attention quite well and was funny in places too. One of the gangsters is a lunatic named Gin (Colm Meaney) who pretends it’s Christmas all year long.

Don’t rent Backflash expecting anything original, but if you like B movies, road trip movies and twisty noirish thrillers, you could do worse. Available streaming on Netflix.

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