Detour is not exactly a remake of the 1945 film noir of the same name, but in making explicit reference to that film more than once, certainly owes it a debt of gratitude. Indeed, Christopher Smith’s teen neo-noir – think Brick in Vegas – is nothing if not a stylish and often gripping homage.
High-school kid Harper (Tye Sheridan) is having a bad day. Recovering from a night on the tiles – his coping mechanism for a comatose mother and philandering step-father – he is paid a visit by scummy gangster Johnny Ray (Emory Cohen), demanding payment for the hit job Harper drunkenly ordered on his step-dad the night before. In fact, you could say that Harper is having two bad days. Faced with the choice of walking away or accompanying Johnny Ray, Detour’s narrative splits into two possibilities represented by some nicely pulpy split-screen effects.
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