Arresting desert landscapes and sporadic outlaw behavior don’t solve the problem of the indie drama “Lost in the Sun”: that writer-director Trey Nelson hasn’t built much dramatically on which his two-character road saga can stand.
When shifty-eyed petty thief John (Josh Duhamel) crashes a single mother’s funeral, offering to transport her orphaned boy Louis (Josh Wiggins) to his grandparents’ house in New Mexico, it doesn’t take much to suss out the hidden relationship here.
What strains credibility is how easily John recruits his reticent 13-year-old traveling companion into being an accomplice in a string of convenience store robberies and car thefts that ultimately turn them into hunted criminals even as they — surprise, surprise — form a tight, particular bond.
Duhamel settles easily into playing a two-bit crook with a vulnerable side, but Wiggins has a harder time making the ups and downs in a curious, grieving kid believable. Despite some scenic territory, there’s just not much to this journey, leaving “Lost in the Sun” feeling like a short story stretched way too thinly toward feature length.
“Lost in the Sun.”
No MPAA rating.
Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes.
Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood; also on VOD.