The movie The Road to Freedom opened today (Friday, September 30) in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Austin, Texas. The film is a fictionalized look at what happened to Sean Flynn, a 28-year-old free-lance photographer (and the handsome son of the dashing movie star Errol Flynn), and his buddy Dana Stone after they disappeared in Cambodia in April of 1970. Their fate has not been determined. Most believe Flynn and Stone perished at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.
The movie, an indie that was shot in Cambodia in 2009, did not exactly go over well with the critics. The film, “though heartfelt, isn’t very good, ” Walter Addiego wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle . “The script is stilted (‘Whatever is going on here is bigger than you and me both’) and the acting ranges from amateurish to acceptable.”
Jeannette Catsoulis, writing in The New York Times , concurred, calling the film “a bona-fide howler. Right from the get-go maintaining a straight face is impossible… Clogged with grandiose pronouncements and bleeding-heart speeches, this telling of Sean’s ill-fated journey drags us through miles of jungle and reams of stilted, soul-sucking dialogue.”
Kevin Thomas in The Los Angeles Times was a bit kinder in his mixed-to-negative review: “Tall, rangy Joshua Frederic Smith creates a fearless, determined Sean while Scott Maguire’s Dana is more cautious, and they give decent portrayals under [director Brendan] Moriarty’s direction. While it is impressive that Moriarty was as capable as he was, making his feature debut at age 20, his film needs more shape, more nuance and more punch. Its strongest asset is its gorgeous natural scenery.”