Film and TV

The Canyon

Another one for the bad-stuff-happens-to-stupid-people file, The Canyon might at least offer the satisfaction of a few squirmy thrills if it weren't so insistent on treating its central couple's plight as the stuff of high tragedy. When newlyweds Nick (Eion Bailey) and Lori (Yvonne Strahovski) find their dream of riding mules through the Grand Canyon thwarted by local prohibitions, they enlist the weird, grizzled dude they meet at the bar to serve as their guide. But after leading them far off the beaten path, Henry (Will Patton) falls prey to a snakebite and, offering up a lame warning about nature taking its revenge on mankind, dies, leaving the two to fend for themselves. As they become progressively more lost, the blandly handsome young couple finds that the blandly handsome Arizona wilderness — filmed by director Richard Harrah with picture-postcard banality — isn't as bland (or as handsome) as it seems. But despite the obvious dangers (and a gruesome amputation), the film goes light on action and suspense alike, so that most of its running time is spent focused on two dullards spouting inane dialogue or doing dumb shit like trying to make cell-phone calls while climbing a massive crag.

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Andrew Schenker