Trading Paint certainly is shooting for a specific demographic, and that’s the least bewildering element to Travolta’s latest release. However, if you are seeking any semblance of an entertaining escape, then audiences will be disappointed. Karzan Kader’s most mainstream release to date will likely be his last as Trading Paint fails on just about every level imaginable. Gary Gerani and Craig Welch’s narrative (and I do use this term rather loosely here) doesn’t establish much as it goes in about 15 different directions all at once. I guess this writing team figured we could cover many of the film’s issues by plugging any number of tropes. For starters, we have a single father, Sam (Travolta) who is stuck raising his son after losing his wife in an accident he feels was his fault (eye-roll), then we have the innocent school teacher Becca (surprisingly played by Shania Twain) who attempts to see Sam for who he is and ease his pain with her heart, and of course let’s not forget the whole father-son dynamic where Cam (Toby Sebastian) tells his dad, Sam, that he doesn’t want to race for him anymore but will run with his rival, Linsky (played by Michael Madsen). Oh! Did I mention the other part of the storyline where Stumpy (yes, that is his real name and is played by Kevin Dunn) explains why he is so loyal to Sam, and it has something to do with Travolta’s character taking on an alligator one on one (I’m not kidding)?
As the movie unfolds, there’s a calming sensation that overcomes you just as the level of idiocy on screen begins to grow. I mean who thought that a film which would require Travolta to do anything other than his typical accent was a great idea? Who thought writing scenes where Twain and Travolta kiss was smart? Nothing about this film feels right and never would I ever imagine thinking that I would long to watch something with the lofty standards of Gotti.