Convoy: Cross the USA

 

The world of truckers is a world that hardly anyone knows about, unless you’re a trucker or if you play those trucking simulator games. And if I were a trucker, I would keep the mystery alive. We see them every day, going to work, driving on the highway, etc. We tend to pass them, or (if we drive slow) they will pass us. They also communicate with each other on the CB radios. At least that’s what we see in the movies. Which brings us to our movie review.

“Convoy” is an action movie, directed by Sam Peckinpah, and stars Kris Kristofferson (as Martin “Rubber Duck” Penwald) and Ali MacGraw (as Melissa). The movie is based on the song “Convoy” by C.W. McCall. You’ve heard the song in at least some capacity and if you haven’t then you will certainly hear it about 3 times during this movie.

At the beginning of the film we meet Rubber Duck, and it is just a normal day for him in the Arizona desert. Rubber Duck is a legend among these parts and he’s respected by his peers. During a random trip, he gets passed by a Jaguar E-Type (driven by Melissa). They end up racing, trying to pass one another/flirt and almost cause a car accident (they get a citation), and then they go their separate ways.

Duck then meets Bobby Love Machine/Pig Pen and Spider Mike. They get a radio alert that it’s okay to increase their speeds, but they were provided false information and get pulled over by Sheriff (Dirty Lyle) Wallace. Lyle then extorts them for money and we see firsthand how corrupted law enforcement is in this setting.

All the truckers end up at a bar, where we meet Duck’s on and off again girlfriend (Violet). There’s an almost passionate moment that gets cancelled and then we never see Violet again. Poor Violet. 

Pig Pen and Spider Mike tease Lyle over the radio until he makes his way to the bar and then this huge bar brawl scene ensues and it lasts 3 minutes way too long. Upon researching info on the director, I found out that his big theme was long and drawn out fights and this fight was certainly all of the above.

People were getting thrown around and smashed into tables, there was glass breaking, and then they would be tossed again on the smashed up bits of table. I felt bad for Widow (one of the truck drivers), because she kept getting beat around and went through a glass display case. Oh, and anytime someone went through a table or through a glass object, the action would automatically go into slow motion w/cross cutting. I counted at least 31 slow motion segments during the 4 minute (ish) fight scene.,

After this debacle, with passed out police officers strewn about, our heroes decide to leave (smart choice) and cross state lines so they won’t be tailed. Melissa hops into Duck’s truck with a mission to reach Texas so she can photograph a wedding. 

The rest of the movie follows the ‘Convoy’ as they make their way from Point A to Point B whilst evading the police. State lines do get crossed, more police get involved but also more people join in to help our heroes out. Honorable mention also goes out to Widow as she survived her truck flipping over and escaped the scene (classic hit-and-run).

After watching the movie “Convoy” I can safely assume that the film does not accurately portray the life of a truck driver. I feel like things are more subdued.

Anyway, it was a fun film to watch and the plot does get whackier as the government gets involved with the ’cause’ and Duck has to make a choice to help fix the problems with corruption or throw everything away to help a friend in need.

There were some issues I had with the movie. My main gripe was that Duck was carrying chemicals in his tanker and it is noted that no one should fire bullets at the tanker or else it will blow up (duh). But yet, and this delves into spoilers a bit, Duck gives 0 shits about driving his truck into police cars or all the way into buildings (which should cause the tanker to blow up).

The other issue is the film does drag in places and is a little long with parts that have little to no action (it’s under two hours). I also read somewhere that the original director’s cut was over 3 1/2 hours. I’ll pass on that, as the producer’s cut was fine enough.

If you’re interested in this film then I highly recommend it. “Convoy” is a great film that is fun to watch and you don’t see many trucker movies around.

I watched this movie on Mubi but I think it will be pulled by the time you read this. You can also watch this movie on snagfilms.com.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a great day!

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