Combustible Celluloid Review - One Way (2022), Ben Conway, Andrew Baird, Colson Baker, Storm Reid, Drea de Matteo, Meagan Holder, Luis Da Silva, Travis Fimmel, Kevin Bacon, Rhys Coiro
Combustible Celluloid
Stream it:
With: Colson Baker, Storm Reid, Drea de Matteo, Meagan Holder, Luis Da Silva, Travis Fimmel, Kevin Bacon, Rhys Coiro
Written by: Ben Conway
Directed by: Andrew Baird
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, violence, and drug use
Running Time: 96
Date: 09/02/2022

One Way (2022)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Bus Minus

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Baker steps it up for the thriller One Way, giving something akin to a cohesive performance, but, unfortunately, the movie can't satisfyingly balance its disparate plot elements, and doesn't generate much suspense.

Freddy (Colson Baker) has been shot in the stomach during a robbery gone south. Now on the run from crime boss Vic (Drea de Matteo), he boards a bus with a bag full of cash and cocaine. He takes to his phone and frantically tries to get help from his partner (Luis Da Silva Jr.) and even from his estranged father (Kevin Bacon).

Meanwhile, a fellow rider, Rachel (Storm Reid), asks to borrow his phone. He learns that she's meeting a man she met online, without knowing his real name, or what he even looks like. Social worker Will (Travis Fimmel) overhears the conversation and tries to get Freddy to connect with Rachel, to convince her to call off the meeting. Meanwhile, Freddy is losing a lot of blood, and is starting to see things. With most of the criminal underworld on his trail, and time running out, Freddy must resort to drastic measures.

A thriller set almost entirely on a bus, wherein trouble awaits at every stop, seems like a sound idea for a tense, exciting movie. Yet this one is somewhat inert; the physicality and movement and space of the situation aren't used for any particular effect, unlike, say, Speed or Crank. (Perhaps the shaky-cam cinematography is to blame.) It seems as stuck to its seat as Freddy is, unable to really move.

Moreover, whenever the story flips back and forth from Freddy's flight to Rachel's plight, it feels forced. Freddy seems pretty self-involved, and without much in the way of morals, so when he tries to do what's best for his fellow traveler, it feels out of character. Likewise, the script doesn't tie together the two stories (the only connecting point is at the very end, and it's an arbitrary one). As Freddy grows more woozy and dizzy, his involvement makes less and less sense.

Baker, otherwise known as recording artist Machine Gun Kelly, is onscreen most of the time in One Way, and he does a convincing job of conveying agony and stress, sweating profusely and powering through terse, whispered conversations on his blood-covered phone.

Without much else going on in One Way, actors like Reid and Bacon find moments to shine, although it's a shame that de Matteo's sinister "Vic" is sold short; in her few scenes she plays it frighteningly cool, and it might have been fun to see more of her.

Movies Unlimtied