Joy Ride Movie Review
Paul Walker pisses off a deranged trucker in… oh wait, wrong Joy Ride. A band of Chinese-American women head to the mother country and R-rated high jinks ensue in the funny if inconsistent Joy Ride, a mini-rush of a comedy that’s well worth checking out.
Essentially Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridesmaids meets The Hangover (first-time director Adele Kim co-wrote Crazy Rich Asians), Joy Ride mashes together several mismatched but likable personalities and forces them to do crazy things. From drugs to threesomes to vaginal tattoos, not much is off limits. There are several laugh-out-loud scenes, a few jaw-droppers, and plenty of entertaining stretches squeezed into a generous 95-minute runtime.
It also has heart, which helps ground the movie even if the end result is some inconsistency on the comedy front. There are a few touching scenes—especially related to the main character’s attempts to find her birth mother—though much of the story is stuff we’ve seen many times before so there’s a part of me that wishes the filmmakers had just stayed on the comedic offensive throughout. The movie is a little choppy—hilarity followed by something less hilarious, rinse and repeat—and that for me keeps Joy Ride from being a comedy classic (however, I wouldn't necessarily bet against that becoming the case).
Still, there’s plenty to enjoy here. The cast, led by Ashley Park, is aces. Sherry Cola is especially delightful and Stephanie Hsu, similar though not at all similar to her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once, shows her tenacity for going all out. I was a little less sold on Sabrina Wu, though due to no fault of the actress; she’s funny, but the screenwriters don’t quite figure out how to make her character shine.
Joy Ride is a funny if uneven ride that’s worth watching in a crowded theater.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.