Directed by Andrew Baird.
Starring Colson Baker, Storm Reid, Drea de Matteo, Travis Fimmel, Kevin Bacon, Luis Da Silva Jr., Meagan Holder, Rhys Coiro, Kendall Dugan, Danny Bohnen, Scotty Bohnen, Casie Baker, and Thomas Francis Murphy.
On the run with a bag full of cash after robbing his former crime boss, and a potentially fatal injury, Freddy boards a bus headed into the unforgiving California desert. With his life slipping through his fingers, Freddy has very few options left to survive.
Singer-songwriter Machine Gun Kelly is credited with his birth name, Colson Baker, in One Way. And while I don’t want to make the unsubstantiated claim that this is the first time it’s happened on film, it feels fitting here, as it’s also the first time her foray into acting has resulted in a compelling turn worthy of the term.” actor”.
Here, he plays Freddy, a lifelong criminal on the run with large amounts of cocaine and cash. He’s a man who will be the first to own up to his mistakes, wishing he was a more respectable father and husband to his young daughter (Casie Baker) and nurse girlfriend (Meagan Holder) rather than an aimless thug and extension of his dad ( played by Kevin Bacon and known as Asshole).
Freddy has stolen these illicit assets from his ruthless boss Vic (Drea de Matteo). The plan has gone awry before the movie begins, with Freddy also bleeding from a gunshot wound and his faithful friend JJ (Luis Da Silva Jr.) being held hostage by those they have betrayed. In the process, Freddy wants to get out of this lifestyle to deliver the money to his family, secretly obtaining a transfusion procedure from his estranged girlfriend, who scavenges for the right blood.
While hiding the blood, Freddy boards a one way bus for safety and to plan his next move. One might suppose that One Way it’s going to be a generic action movie trying to make Colson Baker a badass, but pretty much the entire narrative has him sitting around, continually losing a worrying amount of blood and making phone calls to anyone who’ll listen about escaping danger (Freddy too has a rare blood type, which is how his abrasive and obnoxious father comes into the mix).
It’s a performance of wounded suffering that Colson Baker often sells as unintelligible dialogue, which is frustrating but immersive. There’s also a gritty energy to Andrew Baird’s direction that’s more in line with the propulsive energy of his heavy metal band Avenged 7X music videos rather than his weak sci-fi knockoffs.
Ben Conway’s script is mostly family-friendly and struggles to flesh out a few characters, but he gets praise for bringing Storm Reid aboard the bus who plays Rachel, a runaway minor who says she’s 21, and casually asks to use Freddy’s burner phone to communicate back and forth. with Smokie, an older man whom she turns to. Soon after, social worker Will (Travis Fimmel) boards the bus and sets the stage for an entirely different story.
As a result, it is easily forgiven that much of the gang background material is left out, considering One Way becomes a morality tale for Freddy, taking care of this girl and advising her against her poor decision-making, even when it conflicts with her priorities. There’s also a clever juxtaposition between the dynamic between Rachel/Smokie and Freddy/Vic.
It’s true that logic goes out the window (the bus driver never notices blood, which conveniently never drips anywhere, hardly anyone gets kicked out for arguing and physical altercations, and it’s hard to buy someone, let alone a minor , taking a bus to meet someone you’ve never seen a photo or video of), but One Way it mitigates that with strong, taut directing and impressive acting turns (mainly from an ensemble of rising stars).
Congratulations, Colson Baker/Machine Gun Kelly; You’ve won me over, and I’m very curious as to where your acting career will take you.
Flashing Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the reviews editor for Flickering Myth. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at [email protected]