With 22 Chaser, director Rafal Sokolowski gives Toronto a vibrancy and grit usually associated with big American cities. This edgy vision efficiently (and stylistically) projects the aggressive nature between the film’s competitive characters, who are trying hard to earn their keep.
Among the egos and attitude is Ben (Brian J. Smith), a struggling tow truck driver determined to maintain his integrity on the job. His service calls may not earn him wads of cash, but he can still live in his own skin knowing that he didn’t have to deceive or take advantage of customers to make his living – something he sees often with drivers who are called to clean up nasty car accidents. Ben tries to be a strong influence for his son Zach (Jack Fulton) and his wife Avery (Kaniehtiio Horn), but their move to the big city has created stressful financial straits, making it hard to stay sincere and optimistic.
22 Chaser is a sleek and surprisingly brutal flick that gains speed the moment Ben accepts a seemingly helpful loan, with unachievable expectations the good-natured driver is blind to. Despite his desperation that’s often difficult to watch as it digs him into a deeper hole, Brian J. Smith always has the audience’s support due to his earnest charm; a portrayal that anchors Sokolowski’s nail-biter as the film grows more shocking in the face of panic.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie