Mercy Road starts with a bang, with protagonist Tom (Luke Bracy) jumping into his truck and speeding away. He’s got blood on his hands and is obviously distraught over an incident that just occurred. Little by little, the narrative puts some of the pieces together through urgent cell phone conversations…
…in a nutshell, Tom has just murdered the man who apparently took compromising photos of his teen daughter, Ruby (whom he’s unable to locate). That man also happens to be his ex-wife’s new husband, and she’s already called the cops, convinced Tom has abducted Ruby. While trying to elude the authorities, Tom also receives a series of calls from a mysterious man simply known as “The Associate” (Toby Jones), who coolly informs him that he has Ruby and she’ll die unless Tom complies with all of his demands.
Evoking the similarly-structured Locke (2014), Mercy Road takes place almost entirely within the confines of the truck, and for a while, the film creates quite a bit of tension, especially regarding its main character. With his short fuse and checkered past, we’re never quite certain if Tom is someone we should be rooting for. Depending on the viewer, Bracy’s performance is either grippingly intense or amusingly overwrought. But considering he’s practically the only on-screen character, he does an admirable job holding our attention as long as he does.
|When yet-another Taylor Swift song pops up on the radio.