15 May 2015 | bozabozidar
A Flawed But Thrilling Indie Action Film
Travellator tells the story of a young man called Slovene (a person from Slovenia, not Slav as other people have called him) who lives a hard life in Serbia mostly playing violent video games. He and his mother are refugees from the civil war who still live in a refugee shelter, and she is very ill and needs money for treatment. One day Slovene meets some mobsters, who claim to be Serbian patriots but speak a Scandinavian language among themselves. The mobsters hire him to travel to Las Vegas and kill one criminal from Serbia. This criminal was in Whitness Protection Program but got expelled from it due to reckless behavior, so now he spends his last days in the Sin City partying with 2 Serbian government officials before returning to his homeland. Slovene spent his whole life in great poverty, so he gets easily drawn to the luxurious life in Las Vegas, an amazing city that seems like an artificial paradise. He also meets a young stripper Weronika who quickly falls in love with him.
The scenes in the movie have a non-linear order, similar to Reservoir Dogs. Most of the scenes in Las Vegas were shot in guerrilla style, which means that the film crew filmed on the streets without any permissions next to crowds who were unaware of being filmed. The result is visually superb and efficiently captures the wanted atmosphere. The streets and casinos of Las Vegas look marvelous, full of surreal colors. These scenes contrast with those set in Serbia, a poor country full of dark and shabby locations. In the end of the movie, the real life violence starts to look like a first-person shooter game. All in all, the aesthetic side of the movie is excellent for an indie film.
However, the movie also has plenty of flaws. There are too many religious motives; most notably when the imitators of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Tina Turner all quote the Book of Revelations. This is interesting at first, but becomes boring when they start just repeating the same verse for no special reason. Slovene's mother is also very religious, so she has a lot of unoriginal religious messages to share, which seems quite dull. Most of this is not really important, but there is one major plot hole that bothered me. The most important event of the movie, the actual assassination, is planned extremely badly and without any logic. The target, after all, is just a stupid old fool guarded by his equally stupid friends, so they spend all their time having careless fun in public places. Anybody could have just shot this fool from a car while he was clumsily walking down a street. But instead, Slovene just observes his target for many days and eventually chooses probably the worst possible place for a murder. I am not going to spoil the ending, but I will just say that Slovene gets attacked by some private security and a bunch of cops because of his horrible plan.
Finally, I must admit that I liked the movie. There may be some dull and slow-paced parts, but I've seen many high-budget action movies that are way more boring than Travelator. The movie has a lot of originality and interesting moments, especially those showing the "beauties" of decadent Las Vegas.