Movie Review: Traffick

John (Omar Epps) plans to propose to Brea (Paula Patton) his journalist girlfriend, and  so the couple sets out on a romantic weekend getaway in a lovely mansion isolated in the mountains. But that’s where things start to get crazy. But I’m saying too much already. If you haven’t seen Traffick, watch the trailer below and let’s talk.

Starting off with bright neon lights and a young woman dancing in a club, to the scene where she is chained and gagged in what looked like a large shipping container, I quickly assumed this would be a serial killer kind of movie but I was wrong. This movie sheds light on Human trafficking, how women are taken against their will, beaten, drugged and shipped for international trade.

This movie dragged at the beginning, I can’t put my finger on it but it felt low-budget. I was skeptical and losing interest. I’ll admit one reason I followed through was Paula Patton. She’s quite pretty and I couldn’t get over how toned her body was. Watching her made me want to get down and do a few more crunches, but I digress.

Suddenly and thankfully, things started to pick up and I found myself really panicking during the encounter at the fuel station. If I had been Brea, boyfriend and I would have turned right back and headed home immediately because it was all so weird. The confused woman in the bathroom, the bikers, the speed chase. Everything screamed trouble.

Keep in mind that this movie was said to be based on a real case that happened in North California, where the movie was filmed, and it’s another reason I followed through with it. It was interesting to know that very near that fueling station, a human trafficking ring was busted and victims freed.

This movie made me realize how easily we women can be taken in foreign countries. You are out an about minding your own business or having fun, but someone has spotted you and thinks you are “a product”. I have become even more vigilant, double checking the doors when I get in the car or when I lock the door at night.

Now brace yourself. Things get really violent quickly, I mean characters get beaten, shot at and killed, with much of the victims being young women. There’s strong language and a little nudity but nothing extremely offensive, so I think it might be safe for parents and teenagers to view.

Related: Movie Review: Acrimony by Tyler Perry

This movie was fairly entertaining with surprising plot twists that kept me guessing. The dialogue wasn’t great but the story was thought-provoking and the cast were convincing and the acting was somewhat realistic. What was truly horrifying was the knowledge that these unspeakable things really happen to real women and girls who have gone missing.

Bringing this home to Nigeria, I don’t know if local human trafficking rings have graduated to abduction at random, especially given the number of women who willingly seek out traffickers while in search of a better life overseas. But that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

I recommend this movie for everyone, parents, grown women, teenage girls and their boyfriends for the public awareness it raises. I feel like we all should be cognizant that there is danger out there and a few self-defense classes could go a long way. (Liam Neison isn’t going to come and save us.) It’s not the best movie out this year but it highlights an important issue our society cannot afford to ignore.

Have you seen Traffik? Let me know what you think in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!

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