The latest beast to emerge bleeding from Michael Bay’s remake factory farm could be shown at a masterclass for how not to retool a cult film. To its producers, The Hitcher might have appeared ripe for reinvention, but the end result is a rotten mess. Gone are the intense cat-and-mouse psycho thriller aspects embodied by Rutger Hauer’s nutcase and C Thomas Howell’s nerd, with their bloody clashes and brutal tortures; in their place, we have a couple of Gap-ad teens (Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton) matching “wits” with Sean Bean’s ultra-bland roadside menace. This time, it’s Bush who ends up taking the initiative when Bean starts his campaign of chaos, but the chemistry never ignites. Director Dave Meyers at least manages to avoid succumbing to the excesses of his music video past, though if you’re expecting something loaded with fear, driving thrills and bloody good action, hitch a ride with the original.
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