Ain’t no party like a grizzled Ethan Hawke party ’cause a grizzled Ethan Hawke party is “emotionally complicated!” The veteran actor (Before trilogy, First Reformed) digs deep in the brand new trailer for Adopt a Highway, a somber redemption drama from first-time filmmaker Logan Marshall-Green, known as an actor in works like The Invitation and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Hawke, sporting long slicked back hair and a dusty goatee, plays a man recently released from prison after a long, likely unfair sentence. He struggles to adapt to a world he no longer recognizes, and struggles to figure out what it means to be a “good man.” However, as Jeff Goldblum once told us, life, uh, finds a way. For Hawke, that means finding an abandoned baby in a dumpster, and deciding to do the right thing. And that means Adopt a Highway has a suddenly literal meaning.
As a director, Marshall-Green’s images look equal parts lyrical and hard-hitting. Shots of Hawke and his newfound baby walking on the beach feel straight out of a Terrence Malick project, with one exception — his camera tends to be harshly locked-off, rather than freely floating. As such, even in the trailer, every cut feels like a sock in the stomach. Sometimes in a heartwarming way (when Hawke looks at himself and the baby in a mirror), and sometimes in a heartbreaking way (when a social services agent takes the baby away from his arms). Even though the film clocks in at a tight 81 minutes and is produced by genre maestro Jason Blum (whose Blumhouse is having more and more prestige success with works like Get Out and BlacKkKlansman), Marshall-Green’s film looks to offer a deep, rich, achingly human experience.
Check out the trailer and official synopsis from RLJE Films below. And check out our interview with Marshall-Green about the underrated, utterly badass action-horror flick Upgrade.
Russ Millings has just been released from prison after serving 21 years for a 3rd strike conviction for possessing an ounce of marijuana. As he tries to adapt to a world he doesn’t recognize – including trying to learn how to use the internet – he finds an abandoned baby in a dumpster behind the fast food restaurant where he works as a dishwasher. Unsure of what to do, and caught between impulses of kindness and panic, Russ soon realizes this could be his chance at redemption.