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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Truck Stop Killer

Midnight in the Switchgrass on IMDb

Plot Overview

business womanFBI undercover agent Rebecca Lombardo (Megan Fox) does a “shake your ass” number on unwitting perps and has a penchant for putting her associates in peril. Her conservative partner Karl (Bruce Willis) revels in his imminent reassignment away from this “toxic” partner of his, while his wife is about to divorce him for unspecified reasons. Rebecca reaches out to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agent Byron Crawford (Emile Hirsch) to help her with an off-the-books serial killer sting before she's trans­ferred to Seattle.

gospel choirSuccessful family man Peter Hillborough (Lukas Haas) lives in the sticks, has a flexible schedule, and listens to sermons and hymns on the radio. He's into clean living with a fresh dress on his daughter in the house and a well-scrubbed captive in the shed. As they say, cleanliness is next to godliness (2Sam. 22:21.) He's but one step shy of saintliness.

When Rebecca and Byron set up on the Web a meet with an anonymous taker to take place at a seedy bar, i.e. in “an uncon­trolled environ­ment,” the operation goes wrong. Byron takes off on a wild goose chase and Ms. Toxic meets Mr. Clean.


royal flushOne of Kenny Rogers's songs concerned a chance meeting with “The Gambler” on a train, who offered the passenger the advice that “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repartee is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In “Switch­grass” when a desperate Byron asks the clerk at Harbor Freight to see the logs, she insists on a warrant before complying. However, Byron stands his ground telling her its a matter of life-and-death. He is suitably rewarded.

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. In a movie where every police officer seems to be divorced or about to be, Byron assures his whining wife (“I'm not going through this again, Byron James”) that he promises to come home directly once he takes care of business. Further­more, he breaks off from hot pursuit to answer her calls and tell her he'll get home once he's done here.

We have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” Byron needs to see the private tapes at the truck stop. He points out to the security officer whom he's known since high school, “During that time I've looked the other way on all types of bs that's come crawling out of this god­for­saken cess­pool under your watch, Fred, and I never said a [darn] thing or asked for any­thing in return, okay? But I am coming to you now and I am asking you for a favor.” Because he'd just walked away from all kinds of stuff he could have busted Fred (Tyler Jon Olson) for, he now can with confidence ask a needed favor of him.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” When Rebecca is chained up in the shed, she tells the other (unbound) captive, “Tracey, get out of here.” Tracey (Caitlin Carmichael) is of the mind that if she's good enough and quiet, her captor will let her go as promised. Rebecca tells her he'll kill her tonight, so she needs to find some way to escape and run for it. Good idea.

The gambler gave the advice:

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Loose ends will be managed as the movie closes.

Production Values

” was directed by Randall Emmett. It was written by Alan Horsnail. It stars Emile Hirsch, Megan Fox and Bruce Willis. Willis has seen better days, but he does okay. Hirsch and Haas, good guy and bad, carried the movie. Fox was an enigma playing a victim with teeth. Kudos to Christopher Gehrman who played a concrete salesman setting the stage for the whole movie with his unpleasant find in the weeds. Donovan Carter, miscast as Lieutenant Gilbright, was like to ruin the whole picture on account of his big dumb face and lazy black diction delivering refined lines that came across as play acted. He should stick to foot­ball player roles. By contrast Olive Elise Aber­crombie playing eight-year-old Bethany the family man/killer's daughter was altogether precocious spying on her dad. The other casting and performances were first rate.

MPAA rated it R for violence, and language throughout. There was no sex or nudity in this film about prostitutes. Being set in the South it moved at a slower pace than crime pictures in the big city. There was plenty of tension to exploit, regardless, and I might have given it a higher rating had they but tried harder. It was filmed in Puerto Rico. It was based on a true story out of Texas. It's about 1½ hours long. The screenplay was smooth. The cinema­tog­raphy was great, and the music and score were well blended in. The talk was southern accented.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This was a patently Bible Belt picture with all kinds of Christian references in it, and a truck driver—family man who gave lip service to Christian ideals while carrying on mischief in the shed. Sadly, it was based on a true story. It would be a good picture for Bruce Willis to retire on.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. Web.