With the noise of the latest Marvel action movie, Deadpool 2 quite deafening, it would be so easy to overlook the movie ‘Traffik’. I must confess, I did enjoy the movie, although I found it a tad bit simplistic, however it had a poignant message. It starred award winning actress Paula Patton as Brea, who was a journalist and the heroine of the story.
The movie began with a couple Brea (Paula Patton) and John (Omar Epps), who are very much in love, the displays of love got a little too much, that it became superficial and lost its depth. Anyways our love birds decide to go on a romantic getaway for two. We smell the first sign of trouble when Brea run into a handsome and charismatic white stranger, Red (Luke Goss). Our foreboding heightens even more, when she encounters the female junkie in the toilet.
John waits for Brea outside of the store and he also encounters a racist biker gang who are spoiling to get into a fight, but for the timely intervention of the town’s sheriff Deputy Sally (Missi Pyle). These isolated encounters, tell us that it is no coincidence and we are prepared for the first sign of trouble, which doesn’t take too long, when a member of the biker gang, trails the couple, in a terrifying manner. They escape without any mishaps and the audience, me included, breathe a collective sigh of relief.
I must applaud the director, Deon Taylor for carrying the audience along, such that we feel like a part of the plot and for skillfully weaving a suspenseful tale to a point. The romantic getaway for two, becomes one for four, as John and Brea’s close friends- Malia (Roselyn Sanchez) and Darren (Laz Alonso),surprisingly show up, ruining the romantic moment.
The plot at this point, drifts from the slow and lethargic atmosphere of love, to become quite fast, maybe too fast as the plot structure begins to unravel rather too quickly, shocking the audience. It begins with the discovery of a strange phone in Brea’s bag, clearly it was left there by the junkie she had met earlier in the day. All too quickly, they unlock the encrypted phone and realise that they have just inadvertently stumbled on a human trafficking ring.
Things escalate when the junkie is right at the door, demanding to have the phone returned to her, when she is unable to get the phone back, she is shot dead by Red, the handsome charismatic stranger from earlier and he is at the center of the human trafficking ring.
Then on, it is becomes a battle for their life as one after the other, these friends are killed, until it is just Brea and Malia left, as they are captured, to be trafficked with the other women locked up.
The shocking thing about the movie, is that the brave Sheriff, Sally is the leader of the trafficking ring after all, not Red like we earlier thought. In my own opinion, I think the conclusion of the movie is rather rushed, with the plot loosely constructed and muddled. Brea escapes and kills the bad guy and gets law enforcement involved and the other women are rescued.
The director lost me before the story’s end, but I commend the poignant message, that attempts to spotlight the glaring realities of modern day slavery