Main cast: Steve Zahn (Fuller Thomas), Paul Walker (Lewis Thomas), Leelee Sobieski (Venna), Jessica Bowman (Charlotte Dawson), and Jim Beaver (Sheriff Ritter)
Director: John Dahl
A naked Paul Walker and a naked Steve Zahn (butt shots, butt shots, woo-hoo!), lots of crotch shots of Paul Walker, and zillions of hoyay moments between Mr Zahn and Mr Walker. Yeah yeah, Mr Walker’s Lewis Thomas loves Leelee Sobieski’s Venna, but let me tell you, he gets naked with Mr Zahn’s Fuller Thomas, not Venna. Then again, any movie with Paul Walker in it is guaranteed instant slashy classic, and Joy Ride is classic guilty pleasure. The fact that Walker and Zahn are playing brothers only increase the naughty hooray-for-hoyay moments.
Lewis Thomas is on college break. First, he bails his brother Fuller out of jail. Then he is off to Denver, Fuller in tow, to visit his friend Venna, whom he has a crush on. Along the way, the nights get lonely so Fuller convinces Lewis to pretend to be a horny lady picking up a driver named Rusty Nail through the CB radio. They decide to send Rusty Nail to the room of a particularly obnoxious man they encountered while trying to get a room for the night. Conveniently enough, this man’s room is next to the two men’s, so they can hear everything. Imagine their horror when Rusty Nail murders the man.
We never get to see Rusty Nail in this movie, all we get of him is his disembodied voice through the CB radio as he tracks down the two brothers and Venna throughout the movie to wreck havoc on their summer plans. That’s okay, because he makes Fuller and Thomas get naked and enter an eatery, and anybody who gives me butt shots of Paul Walker is okay with me. Also, Paul Walker displays a keen ability to pose as a woman while conducting, er, radio foreplay.
The suspense or mystery in this movie isn’t too compelling – Rusty Nail’s apparent omnipresence becomes ridiculous after a while. Ms Sobieski is wasted as Jenna, while Mr Walker is appropriately wooden as the goody-two-shoes. Mr Zahn hams it up as the naughty brother, stealing the show. Except when the camera pans to the crotch of a slumbering Paul Walker, and then wood and Walker in the same sentence isn’t such a bad thing after all.
A moderately enjoyable thriller filled with campy pleasures, Joy Ride will cement Paul Walker’s esteemed reputation as the incomparable Golden Prince of Slashy Films. Now, who can get him and Ian Somerhalder together in a movie, preferably one of those that require the two guys to be wearing as little clothing as possible? The Blue Lagoon franchise is long overdue for yet another sequel, no?