Paula Patton in Traffik (2018)


Writer-director Deon Taylor (“Meet the Blacks”) investigates the horrors of sex trafficking in his latest project, which starts off focusing on Brea (Paula Patton) and John (Omar Epps) seeking to enjoy a romantic getaway in the mountains who must fend off unwanted attention from their squabbling friends (Laz Alonso and Roselyn Sanchez) and the dangerous advances of a biker gang with ties throughout the Northern California community and beyond. The movie strives to straddle its roots in grimy 1980s B-movie hijinks (Eurotrash meets biker stereotypes) and more modern social relevance (Brea is a crusading journalist) but suffers because it fails to actively commit to either side in an engaging way. The result is a grade-Z knockoff of “Taken” by way of “Hostel” with none of the thrills or anything meaningful or necessary to add to the debate about global trafficking.