'Cas & Dylan' is terminal despite great practitioners of acting

Not even Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany can breathe life into the cardboard material of 'Cas & Dylan'

There's a full tank of clichés for the mismatched-strangers road movie "Cas & Dylan," the feature directing debut of Jason Priestley, and the sputtering is cacophonous even with two gifted actors leading the way.

Richard Dreyfuss plays Cas, a lonely Winnipeg surgeon and widower on a one-way car trip across Canada with a suicide kit in tow. (Brain tumor. Inoperable.)

But he gives a lift to "Orphan Black" star Tatiana Maslany's sassy, unstable and kindhearted wannabe author Dylan and for some reason feels stuck with her. (Free spirit who opens up lead character. Inoperable.)

Dying on one's own terms is Cas' mission — and this movie's unfortunate diagnosis. And yet there's a frisson of nostalgic fun in seeing Dreyfuss rev up another lovable crank, even if it's tempting to read into Cas' headache spasms an actor wincing at having to breathe life into this cardboard material.

Maslany, meanwhile, who gives a master's class in acting every week playing multiple characters on "Orphan Black," looks like she's having fun performing with Dreyfuss but is bored about everything else. It's a testament to the stars that they manage to sell the third act sentimentality after wading through so much screenplay triteness and unimaginative direction.


"Cas & Dylan."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood.

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