An arrogant lawyer and a down-and-out businessman become involved in a minor traffic accident in Manhattan. As a result, the two men accidentally swap briefcases, the contents of which cause a heated battle with legal as well as financial repercussions.
In this deeply flawed tale, Ben Affleck plays a hard-charging Manhattan lawyer who finally discovers his own morality. His Mercedes rams a Toyota driven by a man named Doyle (Samuel L. Jackson), who is left with a flat tire in the rain. The rushing Gavin shrugs, leaves a blank check at the accident site to pay for the damages and then drives off. In his haste, Gavin accidentally leaves a valuable legal document with Doyle. This is when "Changing Lanes" becomes "A Christmas Carol" with a Road Runner cartoon added. In this instance, though, it's like a Road Runner cartoon with dueling Wile E. Coyotes, with acts of escalating violence on each side as the men try to chip the other's hide, and soul. But in the end, Gavin's awakening from his moneyed cocoon is just too convenient. — Elvis Mitchell
2002-04-12 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of Changing Lanes