Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shuttle Movie


You know when you see a movie and you just can't not talk about it? I just finished watching the movie Shuttle and I am disturbed as all get out. I was expecting a horror movie, and yeah those can leave you disturbed or what not, but this was more than a horror movie. This ended turning from a horror movie into something else. Drama/thriller I suppose is as close a genre as you can describe. It left me feeling...I don't know what, it is not just horror and anger and disgust. Not just fear of how this really can happen, they make you feel something else that I am finding very hard to describe. I started having a feeling what was going on earlier but was hoping... So I have done a synopsis. At least skim the following detailed synopsis so you can understand why I am so bothered. Why I think it goes from a normal horror movie to a terrifying drama.

Mel and Jules are best friends who have just gotten back from Mexico on a red eye flight. They need a ride downtown to get home and this shuttle bus with a timid man already inside, well the driver offers them a discount, so they get on. But they had met 2 guys in the airport who liked them and over the driver's protests that he can only take 3 customers at a time, they say the guys are with them. The ride seems fine at first, but then they all notice they are in a bad area of town nowhere near their desired destination. The Driver claims he knows how to avoid the accident he says is on the highway so they let it go, even while the timid man whines that he has to get home to his wife and baby. Then some crazy in a car causes them to slam into the pavement and the Driver goes and out returns saying they have a flat tire.

He claims to get another shuttle there will take at least an hour but if someone helps him, they can be on the road again in 5 minutes. He asks Matt, the bigger of the two guys for help and being a nice guy, Matt agrees while his buddy Seth stays with the girls and whiny Andy. Everything seems kosher, Matt gets the new wheel on when SLAM, the bus falls onto his hand, severing his fingers. Everyone is screaming, Driver says we need to get to a hospital, everyone on the bus, and even proceeds to pick the fingers up with a plastic bag. As everyone is trying to help Matt stop the bleeding and yelling where is the nearest hospital, as Driver drives on, the shuttle slows down and Seth starts screaming at the Driver, who turns around with a gun. He says if everyone does what he says this can all be over with in a timely manner. As they drive Mel begins to feel something isn't right. She notes that it was no accident that Matt is the one injured, as he was the only threat of the 3 male hostages. She thinks things will just get worse the longer they are on the bus. Jules finds a flare but Andy freaks that they will get them killed and they struggle over it and it goes off. The driver stops the shuttle bus, and tells them actions will have consequences, and slashes Seth's face with a knife. He brings them to an empty atm and has Jules go in with all their atm cards and extract money. Jules tries to alert someone by starting a fire. While the driver goes after Jules, Mel frees herself from the bus, but now the Driver keeps Jules trapped in the burning building and will let her die if Mel doesn't return to the bus. He drives to an out of the way grocery store and gives Mel a list of things to buy, he tells her nothing else id to be bought or he kills her friends. Mel goes in and rapidly finds the items on the list and stops once to look at knives but moves on. Mel knows sign language so she signs a message in front of the surveillance cameras and then goes to checkout, where the cashier rings her out. Meanwhile, the Driver chains Seth and Andy up and drags them outside like dogs and makes them go through the luggage and take out anything valuable or personal. Seth finds something that can free him and Andy and tells Andy when he says so to run, but Andy doesn't, and Seth runs and the shuttle goes after him. Mel hands the cashier the whole wad of money and as she is about to leave grabs a bag of ice...not on the list. The cashier goes through the money and finds a note instructing her to take the tape to the cops. Mel walks outside and there is no bus, she doesn't run she falls to the ground crying and then sees Seth and watches as the bus drives over him and kills him. The Driver throws his body in the back and yells about why is there ice and she says it is for Matt's hand and thrusts (ow) Matt's hand onto the bag. The driver is displeased but drives on.

The driver makes them all buckle up which turns out to be a trap as they cannot be released without a key. Matt is disgusted that Andy didn't run but Mel admits she was too afraid to run too. Mel, who is seated by Matt shows him the knife she stashed in the ice bag. They help each other cut through the seat belts and then Matt uses the bag of ice to break his window and screams for help. The Driver pulls over and when he goes after them, Mel slashes at his wrist and they gain control of the shuttle. The Driver refuses to leave the bus, saying if they kill him they are murderers. They seat belt the Driver down and Mel takes charge. She has Matt sit behind the Driver with the gun pointed at his head with his good hand. She has Andy sit by Matt with the knife. And has Jules watch them so Mel can stop the bus and help if needed. Jules takes her eyes off at one point though and quietly Andy stabs the knife into Matt's throat and the TWO men gain control back. Timid Andy had all been a ruse, he was in on it with the Driver.

Andy is a true freak and is disgusting and tries to you know, but luckily the Driver doesn't seem to be allowing that. The girls are belted back in and they pull over on a bridge. The two men leave to dispose of the bodies. Mel has Jules promise that if she gets a chance she will run, Jules makes her promise also. As they begin to drive again, Mel notices the crowbar under the seat in front of her where Andy sits. Jules who is laying in Mel's lap notices and helps her retrieve it silently. Mel bides her time and then bashes Andy over and over until the Driver stops the bus. But she slams him too and uses the bar to pry the seat belt off. She gets to the wheel and starts driving, wrestling with the driver and slamming the breaks and speeding up to try and dislodge him. Andy also tries to help but Mel aims them at a wall, the Driver put his arm across her, which stuns her, and all goes black.

Jules wakes up and grabs the knife and frees herself and starts running even though she is weak. A driver pulls over and says he will take her to the hospital. She manages to get out Mel may still be alive, so the helper calls 911 but as he is talking Jules eyes widen and the shuttle kills the helpful man. The Driver grabs Jules. Mel finally wakens, belted once more to see Jules looking given up. Andy is dead. They pull into a warehouse and the Driver asks them if either of them has any tattoo's and tells them he will find out if he has to. Jules has one on her behind. He drags her to a room where Mel can hear her screaming and them watches as he carries her into another room and returns. He unlocks the belt and says go to her. The Driver burned the tattoo off but bandaged it after. The Driver shows up and says Seth was right, it IS all about money. Jules says her Mom can get him money. He says 40,000 dollars? Jules says yes, but then the Driver says, 40,000 a month? Mel says no one does this just for money, not for 5 years, he must enjoy this. He tells Jules to put this on and throws a bag at them. They have to dye Mel's hair blond, just like Jules. He makes them exit the room and stand on a yellow line, instructing them to remove all their clothes except their underwear. Then he gives them both a pair of white heels to put on. He tells them they better NOT move and the lights go dark. Bright blinding lights go on, making it so neither girl can see. A man enters and they are told to turn slowly, then the lights go off again. We see a car drive off. Mel and Jules are allowed back into the smaller room and allowed to dress, but Mel is getting some things now. She thinks the Driver won't hurt them, that he can't, he needs them in good health. When Jules brings up trying to leave her to die, Mel says it was a con and she fell for it. She points out that neither of them have a scratch on them, but everyone else who was on the shuttle was murdered or bloodies up except for them. She says the Driver has been protecting them from harm all night. He even took care of the burn he inflicted on Jules. So he wants them alive and healthy. Mel realizes he wanted only them, that was why he didn't want to give the guys a lift. Mel realizes they need to use themselves as the threat and goes to break the mirror, but the Driver arrives. He has been going through their things, and finds a prescription for Jules. He demands to know what it is for and she says it is for yeast infections, and Mel says they are common, but the Driver drags Jules, and says he will shoot Mel if she keeps pushing. He takes Jules back to the bus, belts her in and blindfolds her. She hears the engine go on but they go nowhere so she manages to pull the blindfold off, the broken windows have been sealed and a pipe is leading fumes into the van. She screams Mel's name over and over but Mel can't get out of the room. Mel hears her friend die, as does the Driver, but he covers his ears. Mel shatters the mirror and grabs a big piece. When the Driver comes in, she threatens to slice herself. She tells him to drop the gun so he empties it and throws it in the toilet. She forces him to back up and runs, but the only way out needs a key. This time her threats aren't working so she slashes at him and gets him once and they struggle. Mel makes it back to the bathroom and grabs the gun from the toilet and loads it and shoots him. She gets the keys but can't figure them out so she gets in the bus and breaks the plastic, but he shows up and drags her out and manages to push her until she winds up in a large crate. He nails the crate shut. Then he leaves a package on top and leaves. A man with a forklift arrives later and as Mel scream for help he opens the package, wads of money. He ignores her screams and drives her to one of those metal shipping containers and locks it. Mel feels something and finds a flashlight, the one she picked up. Inside the crate are the items he had her buy. Cat litter tray and cat litter, 2 gallons of water, 2 magazines, extra batteries, some bread, even Mel's motion sickness pills. And there is a paper laying face down on the litter. It is a photo of multiple blond women naked, desolate, in white broken heels. He showed her that she had just been sold into human trafficking. The shipping container is loaded onto a ship headed to Asia and departs. The End.

Apparently, I guess the Driver couldn't risk Jules infection being something else, like an STD, so she had to die. I had a bad feeling halfway through that the selling of young women might be involved, but I got my hopes up, that Mel's signing on the tape, which the cashier DID call in, would save them at the end. I hoped. Because except for how it ends, it really was, a wow movie. It is impressive, and if at least one of them had killed the Driver and gotten away, stopped this man who has been doing this for 5 years, I would want to own the movie. But ending like this, in a crate being shipped off as someone's property, just disgusts me, so I am left unsure about how I feel about the movie now. It makes me wish Liam Neeson had been in THIS movie and saved these young girls, just like he saved his daughter in Taken. I know we ALL have issues with human trafficking, but I can't help getting so angry. How can one human decide another is expendable? How can anyone think they have a right to sell someone off to be brutalized until they die? Maybe being upset about it so much makes me naive or something like that, but I just don't get how one human could do that to another. I think I hope that they are NOT given a chance for forgiveness in Heaven. These people deserve to rot in Hell for all time and eternity. Who is with me? And yes the above synopsis was by plain ole me, not taken from anywhere. It was branded into my brain.

3 meaningful meanderings:

Lee said...

I'm going to see the movie now, but I'm not going to read your synopsis because I don't want anything ruined!

Tori_z said...

I swear those kinds of movies are becoming weirder and more common all the time.

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