There’s nothing quite like having murderous thieves on your trail to get those dysfunctional-family issues resolved in a hurry, as a Texas family discovers in “Transit.” Muscular direction from Antonio Negret (who helmed After Dark Films’ most offbeat horror entry last year, “Seconds Apart”) and a decent pileup of perilous complications make this a solid if unmemorable entry in the company’s first action quintet. Pic has already been released theatrically in some overseas territories.
The Sidwells are traveling through Louisiana on a camping trip in order to reconnect: It turns out dad Nate (Jim Caviezel) just served 18 months in the federal penitentiary for real-estate fraud, resulting in not just physical separation but a loss of trust from his wife (Diora Baird) and teenage sons (Sterling Knight, Jake Cherry). At a roadside pitstop, however, they have the ill fortune to cross paths with a quartet of bank robbers (James Frain, Harold Perrineau, Elisabeth Rohm, Ryan Donowho).
The thieves, already on the run and facing a police roadblock, have the bright idea of stashing their duffel bag of stolen cash with the Sidwells’ luggage, then reclaiming it further down the road. Needless to say, that plan does not work out smoothly. Eventually all parties, having dealt out enough mutual harm to really dislike one another, find themselves deep in bayou country. Now they’ve got gators and poisonous snakes to worry about, too.
Upon reflection, one might marvel at how quickly this all-American family adapts to its survival course of stunt driving, bait-and-switch tactics, use of automatic weapons, etc. Wisely, however,
“Transit” seldom pauses long enough to let the lapses in story logic show. It’s no “Cape Fear,” but it gets the job done with a certain bloody efficiency. Assembly is pro down the line, though desaturated color and wobblecam lend the visual presentation a heavy air of deja vu.