Convoy (1978)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Road Movie  |   Release Date - Jun 28, 1978 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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It's hard to believe that Convoy is the work of Sam Peckinpah, one of the cinema's most interesting and singular directors -- and indeed, if oft-repeated stories are true, it indeed hardly is Peckinpah's work. Apparently, the director was not in good enough shape throughout much of the shooting to actually be in charge, and a wide range of second unit directors -- along with actor James Coburn -- are alleged to have filmed the majority of the film. One certainly hopes this is true, as it would at least explain why Convoy is such a mess of a movie. It would not explain, however, why Peckinpah undertook the project in the first place. True, the basic idea of an outsider forced into the role of hero resonates with the director, and the film did provide plenty of opportunities for action, often rendered in the director's trademark slow-motion style. But the action is simple-minded and lacks depth, the story surrounding the action is trite and dull and the whole thing is clearly just an attempt to cash in on the song that gives the film its name and on the "redneck" success of Smokey and the Bandit. The cast tries hard, and the presence of Kris Kristofferson and Ernest Borgnine is helpful, especially in comparison to the non-performance of Ali Mac Graw. But, despite the protests of diehard Peckinpah fans who insist that there's more to Convoy than meets the eye, the truth is that it's a shallow and surprisingly boring misfire.