Detour short film review

★★★★

Directed by: Juefang Zhang

Written by: Juefang Zhang, I-Chuan-Lee

Starring: Meghan Miller, Tom Jarmusch, Martin Ortiz, Rose Yao, Ann Sackrider, Cliff Lobrutto

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Poster for Detour

A rather unusual and dramatic series of events takes place inside a small bus.


A bus full of passengers is on the move. Then the bus driver stops and informs the passengers that they need to wait for the replacement driver to arrive, because he has reached his maximum working hours and if he carries on driving, he will be fined. Among the passengers are a pregnant woman, a retired nurse and a couple. Suddenly, a man enters the bus, carrying a bag full of cash and frantically requests that the driver takes him to his destination at once. The pregnant woman then faints and the man with the bag offers to pay each of them a large sum of money, if they agree let him reach his destination first and then take her to the hospital.


This short crime thriller's narrative takes place entirely inside the bus and examines how money influences people and corrupts them. When the woman passes out, the passengers are all very concerned and after the man with the bag first offers money, some are tempted, while others hold on to their morality. However, when significantly more money is offered, all passengers (including the driver) have a complete change of heart and eventually, they end up paying for their selfishness.


The story begins with normality, with things becoming more and more awkward and tense as it progresses. The characters are interesting, the acting is believable, the plot is intruiging and the audience will be eager to know how things are going to turn out.


The suspenseful and dramatic score goes well with the scenes, creating the right atmosphere. The filmmakers also make effective use of slow motion.


Detour provides a very thoughtful experience by looking at the value of money and how it can make people become heartless and prioritize it above everything, including the suffering of others.

#JasonKnight