It begins with taillights streaming through the streets at high speeds backed by electronic beats, representative of the accelerated New York City life.

It begins by flashing the mornings of two very different people on one day.

It starts off as an all right movie.

Put the brakes on, though, because that’s where it stops.

The new drama Changing Lanes with Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson was rated #1 at the box office by Entertainment Weekly last week, proving that advertisements can be deceiving.

While the commercials promised a fast action suspense movie, the movie did not deliver.

The plot centers around one day, where two unlikely characters are brought together by a traffic accident on the F.D.R. Drive.

Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck) is a high-power young attorney with the stresses of recently being made a partner in his father-in-law’s elite firm. Running late that morning, he is trying to sort out his chaotic life in his Mercedes, on his cell phone as always, while driving to a career-making court case.

Doyle Gipson (Samuel L. Jackson) is a recovering alcoholic, trying to purchase a house and get his life back on track. Writing down some lines for his speech to try and establish joint-custody of his kids in a court case, he finds himself on the same road as Banek.

Distracted with their lives, the two collide. Frazzled, Banek tries to get Gipson to take a blank check to cover the damages. Had Gipson only taken the check, his ensuing problems would have been avoided, and the movie would fortunately be over.

Gipson however, recently obsessed with trying to “do the right thing,” refuses Banek’s offer and wants to settle it through insurance. It is here, shuffling through the disorganized papers, that Banek accidentally misplaces a vital folder in his case, and sets off a crazy roller coaster ride of revenge, guilt, justice, and human emotion.

The movie flies through contrasting moments of conscience for the characters, but they never seem to match up.

When Gipson is ready to give the file back, Banek is plotting to sabotage his files and fraudulently declare him bankrupt.

When Banek is ready to rectify his actions, Gipson is taking the bolts out of Banek’s tires. The movie showed the extremes of pride in that, once a further offense was taken against each character, they just couldn’t surrender.

Perhaps one downfall of the movie was that it tried to portray its characters as three dimensional, showing every possible emotion and angle, with a plot that would have been better suited for two dimensions. With a story pitting two people against each other, seeking vengeance and trying to break the other, it would have been much more fitting and digestible if the characters were polarizations of extremes.

A good guy and a bad guy. A guy you are rooting for and a guy you want to see destroyed. However, the movie tries to be suspenseful, but at the same time tries to provide a moral and deep message about life.

The result is a thin, almost forced, attempt to elicit sympathies for both characters. While “Changing Lanes” is not Oscar worthy by any means, it is not the worst movie either.

It is definitely a wait-for-video-if-you’re-bored-on-a-Sunday-night film , and it is definitely forgettable.

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