19 July 2013 | A_Different_Drummer
A Film with More Questions Than Answers...
Q1: Is Michelle Monaghan the ultimate woman? (Only men need answer, or try to). The question is asked seriously, and, you will shortly learn, lies at the heart of this venture, in its DNA, if you will. Monaghan's roles usually lean in that direction. In Mission Impossible, she was Tom Cruise' only vulnerability, and to rescue/avenge her he was willing to risk a world war. In Source Code, Jake Gyllenhaal was willing to bend the very fabric of Space and Time just to be with her; in Made of Honor Patrick Dempsey not only was willing to let go of his swinging bachelor life but almost invaded Scotland to win her; and in Shane Black's KISS KISS BANG BANG she was the ultimate prize, the lost love from your childhood that Robert Downey was granted one final chance at. Against this backdrop, we start to see where this film came from. Either Monaghan or her agent (pick one) was getting concerned over this trend and decided to put her in a "real" part, cast against type, to show that she can play more than one role.
Q2: Does the film work? Yes and no. Yes Michelle can act, and all the players do a fine job of playing parts so gritty you can practically smell the perspiration. Nathan Fillion strays outside his comfort zone – which is TV – and does a nice job. Benjamin Bratt, a generally under-deployed resource, steals every scene he is in. Which is not too hard, because the script and director keep everything on a low boil for pretty much the entire time.
Q3. Does Monaghan's character have Aspbergers? This was not an issue when the film was made, but with the benefit of hindsight, this would explain a lot. If you think so, tell your friends on the Aspie boards.
Q4. Do we really care if Monaghan's body of work will be remembered as skewing to the same role over and over? The real secret of TRUCKER, a fine little film in its own right, is that Monaghan was (and arguably still is) brilliant at playing the "coveted heroine" role and, if it ain't broke, you probably shouldn't try to fix it. In this context, TRUCKER becomes less an indie drama and more a guilty pleasure for Monaghan's legion of fans. Male fans,we should add. But you already guessed that.