Country pioneer Hank Williams died in the back seat of his powder-blue Cadillac at age 29 while on the way to a show onNew Year's Day1953. The new film "The Last Ride" attempts to dramatize the buildup to that fateful event, focusing on how Williams' final days were spent mostly in the company of a young driver he did not know.
Directed by Harry Thomason, half of the team behind TV's "Designing Women" and "Evening Shade," from a script by Howie Klausner and Dub Cornett, the film never quite cracks what's truly interesting about the story. "Last Ride" doesn't convey much about the man, except his addictions and that he had a bad back.
As Williams, actor Henry Thomas struggles to portray the musician as a tortured genius, but he mostly comes off as a disaffected blank slate.
Dramatically thin, formally uninspired and thematically weak, "The Last Ride" really goes nowhere.
"The Last Ride." MPAA rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, some language, a fight and smoking. Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes. At Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.