You know how sometimes you go wandering around Wal Mart with some birthday money, looking for things to buy. You know that feeling? Is that a thing you’ve done? Well, it is important for this story that I did. I actually bought Bee Movie. And my wife stopped and pointed out this movie. Look at the cover here:
The Human Race, with a guy getting his head blown off, and a one-legged dude with bladed barbed wire crutches! There was no way this was going to be terrible. Except it could TOTALLY be terrible. Look at it, it doesn’t have a single big name actor ... other than the one-legged dude who is only “big” because of being on Big Brother season 1. It has ridiculous overblown color-correcting like an episode of Supernatural, and … ok, let me just quote its IMDB here:
"In THE HUMAN RACE a group of 80 people are ripped out of their daily lives
and all re-appear in an undisclosed location. These people are from all walks of life:
young and old, athletic and disabled, white-collared and homeless. The rules
to a race boom in their heads, in their own voice and language,
laying out what will become a horrific race of terror:
'If you are lapped twice, you die. If you step off the path, you die.
If you touch the grass, you will die. Race... or die.'"
LOOK AT THAT DESCRIPTION!!! I love watching thrillers, and this feels a whole bunch like a Battle Royale style movie, which was great by the way, A++. Battle Royale with a touch of 13, which was also great, check the link for my thoughts on it. So how great was this?
Pretty great actually!
I love seeing a competent film that was made on a shoestring budget that is actually real well written and incredibly well shot. The mechanical aspects of this film, other than CGI-touched-up blood spurts and the obvious film grain thrown over top of everything and one prop that is fake (but very purposefully so to make sure there is some distance between the audience and the film, because it is DARK and if it looked more real it would easily be too disturbing to recommend this film), all the cinematography, the locations, the pacing, the lighting, the special effects, the casting, just all of those aspects are pitch perfect. And the acting is across the board realistic. And that’s rough. Why? Well, lemme tell you the setup.
80 people all currently on the same block at the same time are all transported by a white light to a sidewalk in a neighborhood surrounded by spikes and razor wire and given some simple rules: if you don’t follow the arrows, you will die; if you step on the grass, you will die; if you get lapped twice, you will die; only one can win the race. And the race is then on. We meet a handful of the people as they try to survive in this absolutely horrific circumstance.
This movie is not easy to watch. It is tense and thrilling and dark and difficult. I cannot recommend it to everyone. But if you think you have a slightly stronger stomach, I cannot recommend this ten dollar film more highly. I was blown away by the way the story was woven, the way it was told, and even how it ended up playing out. It was shocking, thrilling, and touching in a weird, dark, and disturbing way.
I feel like I need to give this film a “B” because of its shoestring budget and lack of big actors … but that is a huge disservice! Everything about this film succeeds at its goals, and goes above and beyond, in my opinion. I understand why some critics gave this film a medium-high rating: it is a little cheap looking, and a lacks star power. But the cheapness only makes the film better, and the actors in the film are perfect. Absolutely perfect. No big name actors could have done this film better. Well, maybe Christopher Walken. This movie DESERVES to have an A. More than deserves, because a bigger budget would have probably made this thing worse. And starred Jaden Smith.