And while Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road can be described as a quirky coming-of-age road movie, it’s so much more than that. It’s funny, insightful, and, above all, entertaining. This should come as no surprise since the writer is none other than Bob Gale (Back to the Future). And yes, both Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are in this movie but more about that later. I saw this movie just as it came out, in my early twenties and it hit me like a freight train. Talk about perfect timing.
And I’m not just saying that because my teenage crush Amy Jo Johnson (Pink Ranger) suddenly appears wearing a short skirt and a tank top. Or because O.W. Grant is a guy who smokes this magical pipe with green smoke coming out of it. And by the way, the green smoke means that something magical is about to happen. No, I’m saying it because this is a funny, original, and engaging movie.
Interstate 60 is a movie about Neal, a young guy who wished for a strange thing on his 22nd birthday. He wanted an answer, an answer to his life. And to make things even stranger, he fucking got it! Well, sort of, in a sense you can get an answer to such a profound question. But don’t think that this is going to be some dull and pretentious story because this is a road movie after all. This means the pacing is fast, the characters interesting and the ideas thought-provoking.
All of this makes Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road a perfect movie for stoners. And no, unfortunately, I did not watch this movie high but I do intend to. Usually, all stoner movies follow a certain formula in the same way all quirky indie comedies do. However, this is more of a philosophical fairy tale than anything else. You will get this almost mythological vibe from it. Now, the technical aspects could be a bit better but at least everything else is top-notch.
Meet Neal Oliver, a young guy who’s at a crossroads in his life. His controlling family wants one thing from him and his inquisitive girlfriend another. And Neal wants something much simpler, to find out what’s the meaning of life. He wishes for precisely this on his 22nd birthday not knowing that someone very powerful is nearby and listening to this.
The cast of this movie is simply sublime. We’ve got James Marsden in a lead role and Gary motherfucking Oldman as O.W. Grant. And to make things even better, Kurt Russel also makes an appearance towards the end. Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road is one of those movies you can watch over and over again. The messages are beautifully complex and yet digestible. And you don’t have to digest them immediately as the storytelling is engaging enough.
This can become somewhat of a problem for some of the viewers as the narrative can be ambiguous at times. This is Bob Gale’s first movie as a director and it shows at certain times. Additionally, the fact that our protagonist is this beautifully sculpted young guy doesn’t help with that. Still, I think that this is a movie worth watching and I urge you to check it out.
Director: Bob Gale
Writer: Bob Gale
Cast: Gary Oldman, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Matthew Edison, James Marsden
Fun Stuff: Throughout the opening sequence there are references to X-men and Marvel comics. The lead male is also Cyclops in the new X-Men movies.