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The Truckman

average rating is 2 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

May 30, 2023

Film Reviews
The Truckman
Directed by:
Andrea M. Catinella
Written by:
Andrea M. Catinella
Benjamin Peter Jones, Joseph Emms, Yasmine Alice

Whether you saw Christian Bale’s character’s ‘where are they now’ segment in The Big Short and reinvested your life savings, or whether you were just really mad last summer that you couldn’t use your hosepipe to scare aware local youths, water scarcity is becoming a phenomenon with increased recognition. The Truckman imagines a world where H2O has almost completely run out, with disastrous consequences.


In a collapsed society where millions across the world live without water security, a group called ‘The Outsiders’ make their home in a remote forest scavenging water where they can. John (Benjamin Peter Jones) and Deacon (Joseph Emms) are father and son, with a strained relationship that is placed aside whilst doing all they can to help Deacon’s heavily pregnant wife Rebecca (Yasmine Alice). But unbeknownst to them, a group of religious zealots led by a dangerous Prophet (Kent Goldfinch) are following their trial…


A post-apocalypse action/drama with strong Walking Dead influences, The Truckman seeks to carve its niche in the survivalist spectrum with a focus on water scarcity – a disturbingly real concern for the near-future of the planet. However, beyond some contextualising news reports and objectives for the plot-driving scavenging expedition, the film fails to really make use of the potential offered by the integral element of its world. Choosing to focus instead on its characters, relationships and action, the film could comfortably swap out drought for a zombie-invasion or a nuclear bomb as its end-of-days scenario, and very little would ultimately change. For a film that’s purpose director Andrea Catinella describes as “raising awareness around climate change and drought”, it’s disappointing that little originality or utilisation of this issue is present. The characters’ lives do not seem adversely impacted by a lack of water (which includes driving cars that presumably run on magic fuel) or understand exactly why the Archetype cult have formed a new religion. It all just feels like an imitation of its Georgia-based inspiration.


Of course, this wouldn’t be as glaring of an issue if the characters and relationships that are the film’s true focus were not let down by a poor plot. John and Deacon’s relationship is practically bipolar – ricocheting from awkward tolerance from Deacon towards John, to utter hatred, to ultimate reconciliation within minutes – with little to justify or validate such dramatic shifts in the son’s personality. For a character that is the source of such pain, John himself is presented as far too competent and calm to actually be interesting – with the only character development the viewer is parlay too being the result of tragedies that happen to him rather than his own personal growth. The script itself is poor as well, packed with exposition which comes across as terribly inauthentic and at times unintentionally hilarious. The worst moment comes from Rebecca, finding time during the agony of childbirth to proclaim “He or she will be born into this world full of violence! How are we going to protect her?” Aside from her surprisingly lucid care not to assume her child’s gender (at least at first), you’d have hoped they’d have considered the ‘how’ a lot earlier…


The action is at least well-accomplished with convincing fight sequences packed with tension, and the effects, locations, props and wardrobe feel convincing enough considering the film’s production. However, for what is a concept short for an ambitious expansion upon the film’s concept, a much more interesting and engaging plot, characters and story world is absent. The central tenet of The Truckman is ripe for exploration, but there is a dearth of it here.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film
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