Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, ...
Credit: Changing Lanes: Kerry Hayes

It’s kind of like ‘Falling Down,”’ says Affleck, ”except more like a ’70s, Sidney Lumet version of that movie.” Indeed, though the plotline may borrow a bit from that 1993 Michael Douglas meltdown — lawyer (Affleck) and loser (Jackson) fender-bend in Manhattan, accidentally swap their extremely important attaché cases, and proceed to make each other’s lives miserable using courtrooms and banks as their battlegrounds ? ‘Lanes’ does offer something new. ”Sam is doing the most unexpected thing because he’s playing a character who’s not cool at all,” says Michell (”Notting Hill”), returning for his first film since suffering a heart attack that forced him to abandon ”Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” during preproduction. ”He’s this beaten-down guy trying desperately to get through this day. It’s very outside his normal repertoire.” Affleck’s character, the director says, ”starts off as an arrogant rich guy in a silver Mercedes, but by the end of the film he’s intensely vulnerable.” All that twisting was what appealed most to Affleck. ”It’s kind of an experiment: Can you make a movie where the audience’s loyalties go back and forth?” says the actor. ”It doesn’t have the traditional protagonist who you know is going to triumph. It’s the antithesis to ‘Pearl Harbor.”’

Changing Lanes
  • Movie
  • 99 minutes