Movie Review: Octane (2003)

Starring: Madeleine Stowe, Norman Reedus and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Directed by: Marcus Adams

While on a late night road trip home, Senga Wilson and her rebellious daughter make one too many pit stops and after an argument her daughter disappears and leaves with a group of bizarre psychopaths and Senga must get her daughter back before it’s too late.

Norman Reedus is the only thing that drew me to this movie and while I have never watched The Walking Dead despite being told by so many to watch it he’s the star of my favourite movie of all time, The Boondock Saints. Outside of The Boondock Saints movies I haven’t seen a great deal of his work so I was eager to see what else he has to offer and Octane seemed like a good place to start although I knew nothing of the movie beforehand.

So far September is shaping up to be my worst month for movie quality as the majority of the movies that I’ve watched so far have been poor to say the least. Octane is just a continuation of this months trend as it has very few redeemable qualities about it. The only thing this movie managed to do right was it was able to set a rather chilling tone throughout the entirety of the movie but outside of that everything else was poor and lacklustre. The lead character Senga Wilson was played by Madeleine Stowe and she was truly awful and her abysmal attempt at acting kind of just set the trend for the rest of the movie. Her daughter, Nat, was played by Mischa Barton who rose to fame being part of The OC but in this movie she showed little to no acting capability and it was painful to just sit here and watch her scenes. The character was also written very poorly as she’s just the stereotypical rebellious teenager who refuses to listen to her mother and decides to disappear with a group of weird strangers after an argument, I hated each and every scene that Mischa Barton and Madeleine Stowe shared. There was just no chemistry between the pair and the serious lack of acting talent made it really hard for me to care about either character.

Norman Reedus, the reason I decided to give Octane a watch in the first place, played the recovery man and to be honest his character didn’t seem needed and lacked purpose. As much as I wanted him to shine and do well he was never given the opportunity to do anything of any real importance due to his character being so irrelevant to the plot. I don’t really want to bash on Jonathan Rhys Meyers as his performance could’ve been very good but by the time we were introduced to his character it was nearly an hour in and by then I had already switched off due to the horrendous quality of the movie that preceded his introduction. Octane for me seemed like the writer had this idea and vision in his head and by the time he was able to write it down he just decided not to expand the story or give the characters any real purpose. The physiological thriller aspect to this movie should’ve worked a lot better than it did but I think the material was so poorly written and thought out that it never really stood a chance even before the clear and obvious casting issues that surrounded Madeleine Stowe and Mischa Barton.

Overall, another horrible movie to add to the many disappointments I’ve had to endure this month, let’s hope I can salvage something from the rest of September. Just avoid this movie at all costs, do something more productive like take a nap.


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