I’m a big fan of Jason Momoa. The star of Conan the Barbarian, Game of Thrones and Bullet to the Head has more than proven his acting and action chops and played an interesting range of roles throughout his career, from heroes, villains, barbarians, even warriors with a vulnerable side. Plus, the props he’s received from action teams like 87Eleven really cements the image of true, hardworking talent. It’s great to see someone with that mindset and work ethic doing so well and it will be very exciting to see him as DC superhero, Aquaman.
In the meantime, one of his recent projects (and his directorial debut) Road to Paloma, has impressed me even more.
The film was released in North America nearly a year ago but finally gets its UK release on Blu-ray and DVD, so there’s plenty of information out there on this one.
Adding another string to his bow, this quiet, surprisingly arty action-drama blends the classic road movie genre with some nice dramatic touches and, surprisingly, doesn’t feel the need to resort to unnecessary action and violence. The fact that its ‘presented’ by WWE Studios may give this impression and would, in a positive sense, help push the product, but its very much a subtle dramatic piece.
In the story, after a brutal injustice occurs on a Native American reservation, Wolf (Momoa) must find redemption for the actions of his past as he is pursued by the FBI for a vigilante act after his mother is murdered. He hits the road with his friend Cash (Robert Homer Mollohan) and the pair embark on a journey visiting friends, family and trying to make ends meet, while the law closes in on them.
Directed and co-written by Momoa, he definitely shows what he can bring to the table as a storyteller and visual artist. He employs minimal dialogue and, at times, relies on the simplicity of his seeing his characters ride across stunning landscapes and the beautiful American country. With an upbeat, rock ‘n roll soundtrack, there are definite parallels with Easy Rider, which can only be a good thing!
The cast is solid and Momoa gets good support from the likes of Robert Homer Mollohan, Lisa Bonet, Timothy V. Murphy, Wes Studi and even Lance Henriksen in a very brief cameo. It’s a great cast of character actors and a strong ensemble all around.
At its core, Road to Paloma has a pretty simple premise and concept but is delivered in a slick, clean and satisfying way. This is certainly worth seeking out for fans of the road movie genre or fans of Momoa’s work and I hope to see more projects from him, as a filmmaker, very soon.
The film is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 6 April from Anchor Bay Entertainment.