“Her” is Lorraine (Maria Bello, TV’s “Prime Suspect”), a cash-strapped chain smoker who’s somewhat of a loser single mom to moppet Chad (Connor Hill). While she’s getting them a dinner of frozen pizzas at a gas station, their car gains a backseat driver in the form of Roy (Stephen Dorff, “Somewhere”), who’s on the run after robbing a bank.
Armed and dangerous, he makes threats as often as puns, and manages to thwart Lorraine in all her lame attempts at escape, like spraying him with Binaca in absence of Mace (“I smell like a fucking candy cane, Lorraine. Thanks.”). A lot of time is spent driving.
While predictable, “Carjacked” is well done enough to keep one’s mild interest for about an hour, even without raising one’s pulse. The last third takes a wrong-headed route, in which Lorraine somehow suddenly grows a set and turns the tables, complete with a lifted-from-Lifetime ending.
Bello is a talented performer, and Dorff on his way back to restoring his rep as the same, but neither gets a strong showcase in “Carjacked.” It’s the inferior film of two-time director John Bonito, whose 2006 debut of “The Marine” remains an unheralded throwback to he-man actioners of the 1980s. —Rod Lott