(director/writer: Bill Ross, Turner Ross; screenwriter: Davey Ramsey; cinematographers: Bill Ross, Turner Ross; editors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross; music: Casey Wayne McAllister; cast: Tony Abuerto (Tony), Micah Bunch (Micah), Nathaly Garcia (Nathaly), Nichole Dukes (Nichole), Makai Garza (Makai); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Carlos Zozaya, Michael Gottwald; MUBI; 2023)

“Bouncy teen road movie.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A celebration of the last days of childhood.

The brothers, Bill and Turner Ross (“Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets”/”Western”), are the writers, directors, cinematographers and editors of this low-budget bouncy teen road movie. It has 5 misfit teens, using their real names-Micah, Nichole, Nathaly, Tony and Makai-from a dead-end small-town in Oregon, who after graduating from high school go on a 500-mile road trip, in the old van of one of their parents, to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time and to have a last blast as irresponsible weed smoking kids before joining the serious adult work-force.

They pick up a hitch-hiker, who takes them to a wild drug party. Leaving the party the next morning, they find the van vandalized and all the tires stolen. So what the fuck, they change travel plans from driving and instead hitch-hike to Portland and even hop on a freight train. They get to see the ocean and meet in the big city some young adults who let them ride their speed boats even though they don’t know how to work the equipment.

The Gen Z kids are affable, peppy and give winsome natural performances as stoners. It’s an honest indie that has an adventurous feel and authenticity about how such out-of-the-loop teens behave.

The low-budget, experimental film (parts of it are not scripted) has the minimal amount of dialogue used that’s filled with stoner talk from the kids.

It played at the Venice Film Festival.

REVIEWED ON 12/22/2023  GRADE: B