Whilst attending his mother’s funeral, thirteen year old Louis (Josh Wiggins) is offered a lift to his grandparent’s house by the unfamiliar John (Josh Duhamel), a small time crook who claims to know Louis’ mother. Despite the circumstances of their meeting, a bond begins to form between the pair – so the only real question is, to what extent is John prepared to have Louis follow in his footsteps?
In a sense, this film holds few surprises, but I honestly don’t mind. The emotional core of the film, held together by solid performances from both Duhamel and Wiggins feels true and earned, and with a quick run time and a touching conclusion, there’s not much to regret in spending time with this film.
It’s not an epic, and there’s probably not going to be much of an audience for this film, but it isn’t bad – the wide, flat expanse of the Texan landscapes that the camera loves to drink in are worth the price of admission alone. If you’re at all familiar with this kind of movie, you’ll have a pretty clear idea where it’s heading, and sometimes the film is a bit more sluggish than it should be, but it looks crisp, clear and professional. Trey Nelson’s career might mostly be a list of television credits, but he has a decent eye for a frame and a shot, and it suits the cinema well. In a couple more films we might see him emerge as someone to watch – but for now, we have this nice, neat, and simple crime/road film.
Perhaps I am overselling this film a little. It’s not going to blow anyone’s socks off but it’s a competently made independent American film. Given the nature of the movie, there’s a lot that could have come across as cheesy or clichéd, and when you break it down, it probably is, but with a combination of the solid performances that don’t feel too laboured, dusty backdrops that really sell the desolation and isolation of the American heartland, and characters that serve a purpose and pull their weight, it manages to feel more lived in then acted out.
If you’re in the mood for a coming of age road film you could do a lot worse than Lost in the Sun.
Reviewed by Brendan Whittaker
Rating out of 10: 6
Lost in the Sun will be released on Blu-ray and DVD from 24 August 2016.