Changing Lanes

This film follows Samuel L Jackson and Ben Affleck on the worst day of their lives since Jackson didn’t win an Oscar and Affleck said yes to Gigli.

Doyle (Jackson) and Gavin (Affleck) are both on their way to court, but for very different reasons. Doyle is fighting a custody battle for his kids and Gavin is a lawyer for a top Wall Street law firm. When they’re involved in a minor accident it’s not just their cars that collide, their worlds do too, setting in motion a string of decreasingly plausible events that will change both their lives for ever…or will they?

This is a thriller so contrived it makes Phone Booth look like a documentary. The specific circumstances and coincidences required for the car accident to prove such a crucial catalyst for the story are so numerous they threaten to undermine the entire film. But if you stop thinking and go with it there’s a fair amount of enjoyment to be had.

This film’s biggest strength is its two main characters, on the opposite ends of the social spectrum. Both actors give great performances, but Jackson is particularly strong, creating a huge amount of sympathy for the hapless man he portrays.

Unfortunately as the film goes through it gets more ridiculous and less relateable, not least because it all takes place in a single day. The philosophical speeches in the third act are particularly tiresome and feel out of place, given the preposterousness of the plot, and the ending feels unfortunately predictable. It goes from changing lanes to changing channels.

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