Traffik Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Paula Patton, Omar Epps, Laz Alonso, Roselyn Sanchez, Dawn Olivieri
  • Director: Deon Taylor
  • Disc Format: NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • Release Date: July 17, 2018
  • Run Time: 96 minutes

        Traffik may be well intentioned in its message, but it is contradictorily sordid in its approach. While the film may be book-ended with reminders of the ugly truth about sex trafficking in the United States, most of the content in the film is far more interested in ridiculous B-film thrills than an accurate depiction of the social issue of choice. Even more disconcerting in a film about the buying and selling of women is the blatant objectification of the female form along the way. There is nothing wrong with a little eroticism, but steamy sex scenes and a constantly bra-less heroine just feels tasteless in a movie about sex trafficking.

        The excuse for a number of erotic scenes in the film comes from the romantic getaway weekend that Brea (Paula Patton) takes with her boyfriend, John (Omar Epps). Their idyllic mountain retreat is interrupted after a contrived confrontation with a group of bikers at a rest stop. After a brief conversation with a distressed woman in the gas station restroom, Brea discovers that a cell phone has been placed in her bag. This cell phone contains evidence of the trafficking ring, making Brea and her boyfriend targets to the bikers running it.

        When Brea and John are unexpectedly joined at the cabin by their friends Darren (Laz Alonso) and Malia (Roselyn Sanchez), there are additional victims to drag out the familiar home invasion storyline. It follows the structure of a horror film, more interested in providing victims and cheap thrills to the narrative than a realistic depiction of the crimes at the center of the story. And the poor choices of the characters often make it difficult to root for them to survive, or care when they don’t.

         The Blu-ray release of Traffik includes two promotional featurettes, along with a digital copy of the film. The first featurette, “Journey into the Depths” is a basic making-of featurette, slightly longer than average at 16-minutes. The second featurette, “Deon & Dante” focuses on cinematographer Dante Spinotti, with interviews from writer/director Deon Taylor.

Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 5/10
Historical Significance:  3/10
Special Features: 3.5/10

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