Lewis & Clark & George

Road movies aren’t the most exciting of propositions. You know, for the most part, that the characters will reach their goal. They might wind up mentally or physically scarred, but they’ll get there. These stories often lack structure, and they’re inherently about the journey, not about the destination. More often than not, the characters just randomly stop, have an interesting encounter, and then get back in the car to debrief, “grow” as characters, and then rinse and repeat.

The characters: Lewis (Salvator Xuereb) and Clark (Da Gunther) have recently escaped from prison. They have a map that will lead them to some gold. Eventually they’re joined by George (Rose McGowan), who is on a cross-country trip of her own, but decides to tag along with the duo after overhearing their plans to find the gold. One of them — I honestly can’t remember which one — falls in love with her almost instantly. She’s a mute, too, for whatever that means. Also joining in is a snake, guns, and Cuban cigars.

Of course, Lewis and Clark don’t like each other. One of them is a convicted murderer who is illiterate, while the other was put away because of something he did with computers. Fraud, maybe? It doesn’t matter. One is too stupid to function while the other doesn’t have the gall to do anything that requires a gun. Therefore, they need each other. George isn’t necessary for them to find the gold, but three’s a company, right? No, wait, that’s not right at all. Three’s a crowd. That probably spoils something.

I say “probably” because, to be perfectly honest, I can’t remember a whole lot of Lewis & Clark & George. Part of the problem is that it’s nowhere near inventive enough to make an impression. It’s all generic road movie material. You’ve seen most of this before. None of the characters are interesting enough to keep the movie afloat, their “development” is essentially nonexistent, and the dialogue was painful to listen to. I kept wondering if they kept George silent so as to not have to write any more atrocious words for an actor to say.

I don’t want to spoil any of the stops along the way, but the trio meets some interesting characters. Or, I think they did. I recall vague glimpses of people more interesting than our protagonists. Like the poor truck driver from whom George steals her first vehicle (in the film; presumably she’d done this before). Or … some bowler. Is it “bowler”? That’s the word for “someone who bowls,” I think. Perhaps I should look it up. That dictionary entry will be more interesting than the film.

Let’s make no bones about this: This is probably one of the worst reviews I’ve ever written. I’m barely discussing the movie. I’m writing filler (like this whole paragraph) to distract you from the movie, yet paradoxically drawing attention to that distraction technique with a sentence like this one. Why am I doing this? It amuses me, to be perfectly honest. The film isn’t interesting enough to warrant legitimate criticism. It’s boring, generic, and completely forgettable.

Lewis & Clark & George is the type of movie you ca put on if you need a nap. You kind of wind up in a trance even if you’re trying to pay full attention, and while that can be a compliment, it’s not in this case. You reflect at the end of the day what you did and there’s a 90-minute gap which cannot be reconciled. “What did I do for that time?” You wonder this and eventually it dawns on you that you watched a movie and that it was so lackluster — not even really bad — that it managed to slip your mind. Films like Lewis & Clark & George fall into obscurity where they belong.

I joked earlier about not being able to tell the characters apart, and that wasn’t entirely fair. I knew which one George was the whole time. Despite the male name, it’s kind of tough to not notice Rose McGowan, especially as her silent female character works in contrast to the loud, idiotic male ones. Lewis and Clark, though? While watching you know which one has which personality but trying to remember names afterward, or even during, is going to be a struggle.

Lewis & Clark & George is the worst kind of bad movie. It’s not terrible enough to get worked up about but it’s not good enough to even be worth talking about. It exists and that’s fine, but watching it is a wholly pointless exercise. You’re better off getting legitimate rest by taking a 90-minute nap. You’ll remember about as much of the film if you do that instead of watching it. It’s a “quirky” road movie and it’s so unmemorable that you almost have to applaud it. Skip Lewis & Clark & George. Catch up on some sleep.

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