Road Rage

Changing Lanes tries to make a grand statement, but it doesn't always work

Ben Affleck is Gavin Banek, a slick attorney who can't seem to get why people hate lawyers (and him) so much, even as he's persuading a senile philanthropist to sign over power of appointment to his firm. Samuel L. Jackson is Doyle Gipson, an insurance telemarketer who attends Al-Anon meetings when he's not trying desperately to win back custody of his children, whom he hopes to put up in the run-down Queens residence he's just about to buy. On the day both need to be in court, Gavin rams Doyle's car off the road while talking on his cell phone. Since insurance is Doyle's field, he tries to do the right thing, while Gavin offers to write a blank check. But, no, Doyle still wants to take down his insurance information. That he doesn't take the blank check when we know he plans to take out a huge loan for the house is one leap in logic you have to accept for the rest of the film to work. Gavin finally just drives away, offering the less-than-hopeful benediction, "Better luck next time." Director Roger Michell (Notting Hill) isn't after simple revenge fireworks, however; he's looking to make a grand statement about being trapped in a routine and man's disconnect from his fellow man. It doesn't always work, and the ending is too pat, but it's a decent effort nonetheless.

 
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