If this movie was a stand alone straight-to-video flick with no connection to The Hitcher, I think it would have been more enjoyable. But that's just not the case. Instead, this turns out to be such an obvious rip-off of the first it's not even funny. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that the only reason it was made was to make a quick buck. This lame and laughable re-hash of the original doesn't even deserve "The Hitcher" title. A sequel didn't need to be made, but since one was, it's just plain sad that this had to be it. They could have done better than this, even for straight-to-video. If you haven't seen the original though, you will probably enjoy this more. But for the most part, it just annoyed me. It did manage to get a little better and more interesting after a half an hour or so, but until then, I was less than thrilled. It made me roll my eyes quite a few times, mainly during the first 30+ minutes. The last 40-50 minutes or so were undeservedly entertaining, of course, pretty much anything would be entertaining after the rocky start the movie had. And even though pretty much the whole thing stole from the original, it managed to get me interested during the last half. Sure, I knew what would happen. Hell, anyone who's ever seen a horror movie, action movie, or thriller before will be able to see the final events unfolding before they even happen. But even with the terrible dialogue, plot-holes, shameless ripping off, and just plain silliness, I was still entertained during the last half, even if I'm not proud of it.
Before seeing this movie I was happy C. Thomas Howell was at least reprising his role. But after seeing the movie, I could care less. In the original, even if his character did some of the dumbest things, he was still likable and you wanted him to get out alive. In the sequel, his character was annoying and I didn't care if he lived or died. The part where he flipped out in the care about picking up the hitchhiker was so lame. Obviously, he was right since the guy turned out to be a killer, but at the time, he had no proof, and made a fool out of himself by acting so stupid. I mean, what would the odds be that this hitchhiker would actually be a killer too? In the movie, it's pretty good (but a very lame attempt at connecting the two movies, and a little unbelievable), but in the real world, it's pretty unlikely that would happen. So both times you pick up a hitchhiker in your life they are going to turn out to be psycho killers? It just doesn't seem plausable. Yet the creators of this sequel just don't care, because all they wanted was a quick buck, and could care less how much disbelief the audience is supposed to suspend. The character I liked in the original becomes just
plain unbearable here. I think C. Thomas Howell's overracting is the main reason this happens. The scene in the car when he goes crazy is the best example of this. I prefer to just forget this annoying Jim Halsey (Howell) and remember the one in the original instead... Surprisingly fairing better is Kari Wuhrer. I didn't expect much from her, but she was actually the best thing about the movie. Her acting wasn't the best, but it wasn't bad and it was certainly better than everyone else in the movie. Plus, the fact that she's very easy on the eyes here made the movie easier to watch. She looked kind of like a poor-man's Ashley Judd... I've never liked Jake Busey, and this movie didn't change that. Even if he does somewhat resemble Rutger Hauer from the original, his performance doesn't even come close. With Hauer, we felt a sense of dread, a reason to be afraid. Here, Busey is just plain goofy and cracking lame one-liners. I never felt afraid of this bumbling moron.
Even though I knew this wouldn't be able to touch the original, I still couldn't help but look forward to this movie. I thought it might be able to at least entertain, and figured it was a good sign that Howell was back, but that just wasn't the case. It couldn't even meet my expectations, which weren't all that high. I also could have done without the blinding cinematography. It was kind of annoying. The colors were really bad and bled quite a bit. I'm not sure if the bleeding was just from the DVD version, but either way, the colors looked like crap... In the end, if you want to see a hacked up re-hash of the original, then this might please you. But I can't picture any fans of the original truly enjoying this one, even if it does manage to have a few entertaining scenes.
Grade: 6/10 (C+)