Review by Andrew Wertz
Lost in the Sun feels like Paper Moon meets Mud, so immediately finds itself treading very familiar territory. The film is about Louis (Josh Higgins), a teen whose mother just died, and John (Josh Duhamel), a small time criminal who just got out of jail, and offers the boy a ride to his new home with his Grandmother. John develops a bond with Louis as he takes the teen around the West and has him act as an initially unwilling accomplice.
Although the relationship between John and Louis is central to the film, and two do share several good scenes together, their relationship ultimately is underdeveloped. Both of their motives are very fuzzy, as is the film’s plot itself. They are supposed to go to Arizona, but have little interest in actually going there. Although Louis initially tries to get John to take him, he gives up before their bond takes hold. Both characters feel uneven and unfinished, which detracts from the film’s emotional moments.
Lost in the Sun excels on a technical level. The film is filled gorgeous shots of the empty countryside, and both Josh Duhamel and Josh Wiggins deliver excellent performances. However, the film often struggles to keep the thin plot moving. Although the two leads carry the film on their own for the most part, the film wastes minor characters that are introduced in the middle of the film. The plot also fails to smoothly work in other plot points, relying on crime genre cliches.
Lost in the Sun’s biggest weakness lies in its characters. Their bond never really comes together, and at times it doesn’t even make sense why Louis would stay with John. The core of the film is really a question about the two main characters, and although it seems somewhat obvious, Lost in the Sun isn’t sure how it wants to answer the question for the audience or the characters. As a result, the question is answered multiple times, none of which are effective.
Lost in the Sun’s leads deliver while the script does not. The film has numerous problems with pacing, execution, and tone. Watching Lost in the Sun is particularly frustrating because it is easy to imagine a great film somewhere in the story, but it just doesn’t come together.
THEATRICAL, VOD AND iTUNES RELEASE DATE: November 6.