Not Such a Wrong Turn
As a child Joshua (Cuba Gooding Jr.) was saved by small time crime boss Vincent (Miguel Ferrer) and has grown up to be his deadly right hand man. But just as Joshua is thinking it is about time to call it a day things get messy when first Vincent has one of big crime boss Nino's (Harvey Keitel) men killed and in return Nino has Vincent's wife brutally murdered. Now Vincent wants revenge and he expects Joshua to help get it for him although he begins to question his loyalty.
Unfortunately over the years Cuba Gooding Jr. has appeared in some at best mediocre movies and now when I see his name at the top of the cast list I tend to expect mediocre at best. The thing is that when I come across one of these movies I tend to get in the frame of mind for something poor, simple, easy to watch and basically tacky so when the movie turns out to be not what I expected I am strangely disappointed. That is the situation I found myself in as I watched "Wrong Turn at Tahoe" as I expected poor but got pretty good.
Now in truth "Wrong Turn at Tahoe" is not complicated, it skirts around some unusual houses for a while but it comes down to some tit for tat killing and the character of Joshua not only questioning what he is doing but finding his loyalty questioned as well. It is simple enough and 9 times out of ten this would end up background noise as you got on with something else. But then what "Wrong Turn at Tahoe" has is a group of actors who actually strive to deliver characters. Cuba brings the conflict as Joshua, Miguel Ferrer is dangerous and demanding as Vincent whilst Harvey Keitel has some fun as playing Nino as an A type mob boss. Don't get me wrong as all these actors have done better but their characterisations are much more than you expect and it is their characterisations which lift the movie to being better than you expect.
On that note it has to be said that director Franck Khalfoun also lifts things with some surprisingly impressive direction. Again it is not anything amazing but he delivers a consistent style which matches the story and characters to create this movie which draws you in.
What this all boils down to is that "Wrong Turn at Tahoe" at a glance looks like just another one of those Cuba Gooding Jr. movies which won't be much but then when you watch you begin to realise this is better than expected with all the actors doing a good turn at delivering characters and it is the characters who make the movie.