World Traveler (2001)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Road Movie  |   Release Date - Apr 19, 2002 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - Canada, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Michael Hastings

Writer/director Bart Freundlich's vague, inscrutable tale of early middle-age wanderlust clearly aspires to re-create the loose, freewheeling ennui of a classic like Five Easy Pieces -- right down to its central father-son conflict and its semi-iconic lead Billy Crudup. The only problem is, there's nothing remotely joyous or freewheeling in the way that Freundlich makes movies: trapped in static frames, spare settings, and circuitous conversations, his characters don't talk to each other so much as they read giant cue cards, shuffled into a random order. While it's admirable to keep a lead character's motivations cloudy, the conceit doesn't pay off in Traveller; as Crudup's Cal grins his way through a series of mundane non-adventures, audiences are likely to be increasingly more frustrated by his decision to "leave it all behind." One thing's for certain: the underwritten, humorless role certainly isn't going to help Crudup shake his rap as an emotionally distant, opaque performer.