3 A.M. is the 2001 flick from writer and director Lee Davis. It stars Danny Glover, Michelle Rodriguez, Bobby Cannavale, Pam Grier, Sergej Trifunovic, Jack Dimich and more.
Under Spike Lee’s wing, Davis was able to able to create a film not necessarily unique, but not a complete waste of time either.
The movie centers around the lives of three main cab drivers in the underbelly of seedy New York City at night. We learn quickly that each driver has his or her own demons to deal with, whether it’s fear of falling in love, fear that American life isn’t better than in one’s home country, or fear that stems from deeds committed in the past. All three drivers also must come to terms with having a job they hate, while meanwhile a serial-killer of cab drivers is on the loose.
While 3 A.M. certainly has it’s violent moments, it certainly wasn’t as thrilling as it was marketed to be (compared to other films with similar storylines like The Bone Collector.) Still, I respected how the writer allowed us to become immersed with each character’s life, and moreover how we care more about whether the characters will confront their own personal fears instead of whether or not they’ll pick up a serial killer. I also enjoyed how, by the conclusion, some characters were redeemed, while others were left falling deeper into despair.
Davis overlaps several characters into the three main story-lines, making all of New York seem congested with trouble, whether in or out of a taxi cab.
Overall, the film was well cast and well acted, while I felt the strongest point of the film was portraying how American cities like New York are not any better than other countries in terms of random an unexpected violence. Rodriguez was also excellent as a deeply disturbed, misanthropic cabbie who can’t run from a violent act committed in her youth.
Watch this film if you enjoy movies with a strong character presence, even if you’re sick of seeing flicks about depravity with New York City as a backdrop.