When it comes to motion pictures, the claustrophobic confines of a setting are something that enraptures many, as the star lead has to imbue the screen with a range of sensations that pull us into their sense of identity. In Mercy Road, it revolves around a father named Tom (Luke Bracey) who desperately wants to get answers about his daughter, Ruby, from the confines of a truck while racing down the road, screaming for answers while dealing with an unknown associate (voiced by Toby Jones) for a solution and others.
In a day and age when parents and children keep in touch with always-accessible information thanks to advanced technology, tensions rise for most of its runtime as it maintains its dark, foreboding atmosphere. Bracey maintains a sense of intense urgency in his performance, keeping viewers confused yet intrigued for what direction the film heads on. Director John Curran heightens the atmosphere and keeps that momentum up for the runtime. And, although his voiceover can remain quite monotonous, Jones keeps us at bay with the guessing games as to what Tom must do to find his daughter.
Realism, how flawed that may depicted here, doesn’t necessarily have to be the topic of discussion; it’s one as to how desperate a parent will go for their children. Some of the acting presented does feel a little too over-the-top, and with some notable similarities with other features like Locke, Phone Booth, and Wrong Number, Curran’s feature does lose some credibility in staying on its own road.
But Mercy Road swiftly brings us a gripping tale for its 85-minute runtime of a father desperate to find his daughter, and this is a road we can all enjoy tangling with.