Each year, a Texan car dealership stages a one-of-a-kind competition where entrants must keep their hands placed on a dream SUV Truck for as long as they can. The premise is simple. The last one still touching the truck, wins the truck. For well-intentioned, burger-joint employee Kyle Parson (Joe Cole) the truck is much more than a ticket to a better future for his wife and child. However, in front of him are a dozen or so other determined contestants, each of whom plan on being there when the going gets tough…
...a deceptively-drawn portrait of American values.
In what amounts to a deceptively-drawn portrait of American values, director Bastian Günther has assembled a pitch-perfect cast for this sly, automotive critique. With a rolling, southern drawl that could coat crayfish with hot butter, Carrie Preston is the pumped-up PR girl who never left town. ‘Mindhunter‘s’ Jesse C. Boyd is the appropriately loathsome Kevin and Lynne Ashe’s bible-reading Ruthie is just one page turn away from parody. However, earnestly tormented throughout the whole proceedings is ‘Peaky Blinders‘s’ Joe Cole. In another Brit-born-but-wholly-believable US performance, he disappears inside Kyle’s freckled skin with absolutely no trace of anglicised origin.
Caked in sweat and with everyone assembled around the truck, what starts out as a redneck companion to ‘Logan Lucky‘, ‘One of These Days‘ quickly becomes a much deeper and significant treatise. As each contestant’s personalities and peculiarities start to break down, the importance of “winning” becomes even more apparent. The reason is that in a country where what you drive says more than the contents of your immortal soul, the car is actually king. A modern-day symbol of freedom, upward mobility and the American way of life, that truck-to-be-envied is a precious, vital commodity and each of ‘One of These Days’ characters means to hang on to get it.
Yet beyond blood, love and reason, no matter how hard they believe, each falls off like bugs burnt off the windshield of life. -And that’s how the movie should end, right? But it doesn’t.
In a one final, delicious act that many might find a step too far, ‘One of These Days’ digs deeper still. In a further exploration of all the motivations that we missed in the contest’s frantic build-up, director Bastian Günther further peels his characters’ sunburnt skin back further. Like the movie’s thought-provoking premise itself, it could be argued this final addition is much like the hang-on contest itself, in seeing just how far you’ll go. Depending on your stamina, a satisfying ending can’t always be found within easy touching distance.