Paradise Highway - User Reviews

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User rating: 5


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User review rating: 5 July 29, 2022

This movie is less an action thriller than a study of the ways people find to extricate themselves from the truly horrifying dilemmas that abound in the margins of ostensibly civilized life, and which, in many cases, cannot be resolved. The climax of the film is not so much the thrilling action of its tense and horrific final scenes, in which trucker Sally's cohort of women truckers and the two FBI protagonists arrive to save the day, as in the stark and agonizing dilemma for Sally of the much-loved older brother who proves himself hopelessly corrupted, betrays his sister and the young victims of juvenile sex trafficking, and is ultimately lost. It's unfortunate that the ground-rules of the American action thriller demand the semblance of a happy ending, but the film makes it clear that nobody can really be happy with any aspect of the ending except that a small group of youthful sex slaves are delivered, at least for the time being from their bondage. The real message of the film, while far from hopeless, is much darker. Cameron Monaghan, I have to say, has not received sufficient recognition for the subtlety of his acting style, at its best in intimate scenes amid the impossible and agonizing chaos of life. He does a super-commendable job here. It's to be hoped that more opportunities will appear for this veteran but still young and maturing actor to display his unique strengths....

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