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Movie Reviews

Changing Lanes  

Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Toni Collettte, William Hurt, Amanda Peet.
Written by Chap Taylor
Directed by Roger Michell

Released by Paramount Pictures

Official Website:
Trailer: Quicktime (Various)

Changing Lanes (Double Sided)
Changing Lanes (Double Sided)
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In Changing Lanes high powered attorney Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck) and temperamental insurance salesman Doyle Gipson (Samuel L. Jackson ) try to destroy each other’s lives. They were complete strangers before a minor traffic accident during rush hour sets them on a collision course that very quickly spirals out of control.

Both where rushing to court for different reasons before colliding by chance into each other. Gavin was on his way to file some very important documents that mean millions of dollars of future income to his bosses and Doyle was on his way to a custody hearing regarding his two sons.

Gavin is in such a hurry when the accident occurs that he offers Doyle a blank check to fix his car up. Doyle refuses cause he is a stickler for procedure which results in Gavin illegally and quickly departing the scene before they can exchange insurance information.

Inadvertently Gavin leaves behind the folder containing the very important papers he needs to bring to court that end up in Doyle‘s possession. The Judge tells Gaven he is got till the end of the day to file the documents with the court or he will not only be in trouble with his law firm but might also face jail time.

Meanwhile, Doyle also arrived in court late and because of that he loses in the custody hearing what he most wanted which is having regular contact with his kids.

It doesn’t help that he is both a hot head and a recovering alcoholic having enough problems to deal with as it is. So Doyle and Gaven start playing this cat and mouse game with each other that gets progressively more vicious as they get angrier and angrier at one another.

Gaven wants his file back and Doyle his kids but instead of cooperating with each other they do the opposite.

Each uses underhanded tactics to try and get his way with the other. Gaven utilizes such deceitful methods as hiring someone to destroy Doyle’s credit by falsifying data via computer that result in Doyle losing a house loan. Doyle applies such less complicated techniques as taking the screws out of Gaven’s car front tire which causes Gaven to almost die on the road.

At the same time, Gaven is trying to come to terms with working for a big dishonest law firm that uses both devious legal and illegal means to make money.

The whole film is built around their battle and the resulting consequences Doyle and Gaven endure by making wrong choices.

It delivers like an average formulaic movie with sparingly stimulating moments that build up to an anti-climatic ending.

The story takes on twists and turns that don’t seem natural or plausible but seem only there to move the plot along. There is the occasional bad dialogue that is comical for all the wrong reasons.

If you are looking a mostly shallow story with one dimensional characters that is mildly entertaining then Changing Lanes has got your name on it.

3 out of 5


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