Blu-ray review: Road to Paloma

 

Starring: Jason Momoa, Lisa Bonet, Robert Homer Mollahan
Director: Jason Momoa
Rating: 6/10

road-to-palomaThere aren’t nearly enough biker movies, so this effort written, directed by and starring Jason Momoa (you might remember him from Game of Thrones and Stargate Atlantis) is very welcome. Momoa plays a Native American on the run from the law after killing a man, doing his best to evade the Feds on an vintage motorcycle that’s prone to breaking down. But despite Momoa’s musclebound physique and action man credentials, this isn’t an action flick where he can escape capture with a roundhouse punch and an elbow jab – rather, it’s a loose-jointed road movie with a ’70s boho vibe and a gentle air of fatalism.

There’s lots of magic hour photography, travelogue montages and sitting around fires in the desert. Momoa stays true to form in giving a grunting, animalistic performance, but he shows a passive, wounded, gentle side too, something reflected in his directorial style. He gives the other actors plenty of space, especially Robert Homer Mollahan, who steals scene after scene as Cash, the guitar-toting wastrel who becomes his comical sidekick. Occasionally he indulges in arty flourishes where a more rugged approach might have served him better, but the moments which touch on everyday life on Native American preservations have a well-observed grit and seediness.

The flattest moments, surprisingly, come when Momoa’s character takes up with a woman played by his real-life wife Lisa Bonet, but otherwise this is a promising directorial debut from a man clearly determined to break out of the action hero box. And like I said, there aren’t nearly enough biker movies.

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