Director: Dave Meyers (2007)
Starring: Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton
There are only but a handful of movies I'd describe as 'perfect'. That is, five-star scoring, wouldn't-change-a-thing pieces of wonderment. Movies I can watch time and time again, and still not find a single fault. To date, I can count but a handful; The Evil Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Dead Man's Shoes and Robert Harmon's The Hitcher. I've seen those movies on very numerous occasions, and they never seem to get boring or old.
Unlike Dave Meyers's The Hitcher, which seems boring and old even on the first occasion you watch it. You won't find yourself arranging a subsequent viewing anytime soon, if ever. Heck, even The Hitcher 2 has more merit than this remake. And by 'merit', I mean a brother Busey.
Not content with half-assing a remake of one perfect horror movie (that one would be the one with the chainsaw and the massacre in Texas), Platinum Dunes proceeded to half-ass all over another. Like the Texas Chain Saw remake, this one shares a vague plot but dumbs it down and amps up the gore and action. The Hitcher of 1986 is already pretty action packed, but Meyers manages to add a bit more here. That sounds like a compliment, but it isn't.
Instead of Rutger Hauer, this hitchhiker is Sean Bean. Sean Bean, whose name looks like it should rhyme but doesn't. Sean Bean who usually makes period pics or mobile phone adverts. I like Sean Bean - almost as much as I do Rutger Hauer - but his hitcher (John Ryder) isn't even nearly comparable. Where Hauer was genuinely menacing, Bean just looks like a dickhead putting on some shitty hardman act. The hitcher of '86 is an unhinged psycho. The hitcher of '07 is a bully with a silly buzzcut and a crappy accent that he can't quite pull off.
Sean Bean aside (well, he is the best thing in it), everyone else delivers performances you've seen a hundred times before in movies that are virtually identical anyway. Leads Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton scream and run their way through scene after scene, but they might as well be pursued by a Platinum Dunes Jason or Leatherface as they are the Hitcher. The only difference is that John Ryder drives a car and occasionally speaks. Neal McDonough is typically classy, but brings nothing besides a cool hat. Well, he says "I don't give a rat's cockbag" at one point, which I enjoyed. Oh, and shouts "you gotta be five-finger fucking me."
If there's one thing The Hitcher '86 was missing, it's a scene where John Ryder totally blows up a helicopter and flips up some cop cars whilst hella cool rock music is playing. Who needs all that overrated tension or subtlety when you can look at Sophia Bush's boobs? It completely misses out everything that made the original good, save for some nifty action sequences and a cool trenchcoat.
I've been overly harsh here, I know. The action scenes are decent, Bean is fun and there's a nice amount of carnage to be found here. Your enjoyment of The Hitcher 2007 will probably depend on your level of reverence for the original movie. With that in mind, I did not enjoy The Hitcher '07. Not at all.