ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Joy Ride (2001), R
Analysis Date: October 12, 2001
CAP Score: 25
CAP Influence Density: 2.86

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

JOY RIDE (R) -- I wonder what the police would do...

A standard story of being sorry afterwards, sorry for mischief [Job 15:35; Prov. 6:16 - 19]. This time, selfish mischief ends up getting people kidnapped, impaled and comatose. Two brothers, Lewis and Fuller Thomas (Paul Walker, Steve Zahn) travel across country together and become bored. Soon the boredom becomes life-threatening. And not only for the brothers.

Lewis is on a summer break from college in California ready to fly home back east. Holding the plane tickets in his hand he talked with a long-time friend, Venna (Leelee Sobieski) in Boulder, Colorado. Together (unmarried), they spoke of taking a long road trip together [Matt. 26:41]. Venna needed a ride to New Jersey. Lewis is going back east. The idea light bulb flipped on and Lewis told Venna a little white lie. He told her he has a car, speaking the lie as he planned to return the tickets for cash to buy a car. Lewis wants the friendship to be much more. About the little white lie, I wonder if anyone can explain to me when Jesus would say a lie is not a lie [Rev. 21:8].

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Fuller entered the picture. On his way to pick up Venna, Lewis stopped to bail out Fuller for another drunk and disorderly. There paints a contrast. The writers tried to cast Lewis as the wholesome type, a foul mouthed and deceitful wholesome lad, with Fuller being the troublemaker with an "Alfred E. Newman" [Mad(tm) magazine] attitude. The daring duo hit the road.

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Along the way as a boredom smasher, Fuller picked up a Citizen's Band (CB) radio for $40. There began the trouble. Fuller started broadcasting the once popular "C B McCall" radio lingo until he made contact with "Rusty Nail", a driver of a huge black semi tractor/trailer rig. Part of the mischief was Fuller convincing Lewis to use his "female" voice to sexually excite Rusty Nail. And Lewis does so, inviting Rusty Nail to meet "her" in a roadside no-tell motel in room 17 so Rusty Nail can have some sexual fun with "her." The wholesome type, huh? Rusty Nail agreed.
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From room 18 of the motel, Lewis and Fuller listen as Rusty Nail encounters Ronald Ellinghouse in room 17 immediately to the left (?) of their room 17. Fuller had an encounter with Ellinghouse in the motel office. Ellinghouse was a quite abrasive big man with a likewise abrasive vocabulary. Ellinghouse issued a few threats to anyone who could hear him since he hadn't slept in two days.

After the arrival of Rusty Nail, the boys heard from room 18 a bit of a ruckus then what sounded to be choking sounds then silence. Lewis, being the wholesome type, called the office to tell them of the suspicious sounds coming from room 18. The office called room 18 and Rusty Nail answered saying there was nothing wrong. Not knowing the difference in voices, the motel manager thought everything was okay.

The next morning the police questioned the boys about their knowledge of the happenings in room 18 last night. Denying any involvement or knowledge of the individuals in question, Fuller told the police what they had heard. They found that Ellinghouse was discovered on the highway comatose with his mandible missing. During the course of questioning, the boys admitted what they had done. As a 'redneck cop' attempt to teach the boys a lesson, they (and we) were treated to the image of Ellinghouse without a jaw as the police took the boys to see for themselves what their mischief had caused. But that was not the end of it. Rusty Nail was not the forgiving type. Next the boys fetch Venna. But they were not free from the piercing presence of Rusty Nail. He had a score to settle. Vengeance was going to be his [Rom. 12:19]. Now Venna becomes a victim of the boys' mischief as another target for Rusty Nail as he pursued the pathetic pair to shower his vengeance upon them.

While terribly overshadowed by numerous issues immorality and arrogance, Lewis' noble desires to "come clean" about their mischief was a positive note. Further, when the trio spent the night in motels, Venna stayed in a separate room. What a wonderful, wonderful move of the filmmakers! Too bad they could not do the same with the language. The innuendo. The coarse joking. The nudity. The vulgar talk. The adults in underwear. I wonder what the police would do if Leelee Sobiesky wore the same underwear she wore in this movie, for example, into a school or on the court house lawn. Well!? The many of the same people who saw this movie when I did go to school, some to elementary school and some not even in school yet. And some might pass the court house occasionally. Really.

Rusty Nail's vengeance upon the boys includes kidnapping, attempted murder, terrorizing by reckless endangerment, threat to kill by dismemberment, unlawful bondage with the intent to kill and many other means of wreaking havoc on the boys. [Isa. 13:11]

This is an R-rated movie. It is every bit of R. Full male nudity. Tons of foul language. drunkenness. Graphic impalement injuries. Suicide as a consequence of attempt to murder [Deut. 5:17], stalking terror and chase terror with attempted murder for vengeance.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Job 15:35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.
  • Prov. 6:16 - 19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. [Note that God says things (chosen behaviors). It is such behavior He hates, NOT of the doer.]
  • Matt. 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [cowards], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  • Isa. 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
  • Deut. 5:17 "You shall not murder. [Suicide is murder of the self.]

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Joy Ride (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • reckless driving - repeatedly
  • planning to defy the law
  • seeking vengeance
  • prank leading to attempted murder
  • injury gore
  • stalking terror - repeatedly
  • vehicular assault - repeatedly
  • chasing terror - repeatedly
  • kidnapping - twice
  • threat to kill be dismemberment
  • near death by explosion
  • illegal bondage with apparatus rigged to kill
  • intent to kill - repeatedly
  • impalement injuries
  • brutalization
  • assault
  • attempted murder by shotgun
  • attempted multiple murder by vehicle
  • bloody gore
  • willful reckless endangerment of passenger
  • suicide by failed attempted murder

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 51 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 18 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • lies
  • hatefulness
  • racism
  • attempt at sexual conquest
  • sexual threat
  • vulgar talk
  • full male nudity - repeatedly with only the hands hiding the genitals, with actor kids watching

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • adults in underwear
  • sex talk
  • ghosting of female anatomy through thin clothing
  • sexually teasing conversations
  • suggestive eye movement
  • attempted sexual conquest
  • sexual threat
  • vulgar talk
  • double full male rear nudity with kids watching
  • double full male side nudity with kids watching
  • double full male frontal nudity with kids watching, only the hands hiding the genitals

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar/drinking - repeatedly
  • drunkenness - repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 9 uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 10 without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • suicide by failed attempted multiple murder

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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