Saturday 26 February 2011

Race Against Time (2000)

Movie and TV Mistress here,

So I have a bit of a soft spot for some of the better known B Movie actors such as Bruce Campbell, Jeffrey Combs, Eric Roberts, Chris Sarandon and Cary Elwes. When I was looking though the many straight to video movies that Cary Elwes has done, I came across a movie with the last 3 in it and no I don't mean The Princess Bride, I mean a movie called Race Against Time.

Race Against Time was a made for TV movie about what if the US Supreme Court decided in 2008 that suicide was not criminal stating that each individual “The sole keeper of their own body, with the right to do with it whatsoever he or she see fit.” basically it is our choice to live and die. The movie starts with a guy being chased by what I can only describe as stormtroopers of 2018, I’m reminded of Mick Jagers Freejack type characters. The guy is surrounded tasered and put in a body bag and put in the back of an ambulance after Cary turns up and inflates the bag, I assume the bag is full of liquid nitrogen or something that freezes quickly.

So the actual plot is that Eric Roberts character has a son who is very sick and Eric works in construction and he claims to never get sick. We have some really bad blue screen and a rookie is made to go out on a beam which he falls off, and oh my god Eric Roberts is just Awesome, he gets tied off and saves the rookie by diving off after him and then he falls lands on a safety basket and Johnny who was attached to the other end of Eric's rope falls off and Eric nearly looses him every one is safe because Eric is that amazing. You would think they could make construction safer by 2018.

Eric visits his son and gives him "Gamer Goggles 256gb of gaming power because reality has no reset button" LOL

So there is a company called Lifecorp, kind of like medicare I guess, hmm Lifecorp don't sound evil in anyway nothing with corp in the name could ever be evil right.

Eric's Son has Ralph virus which Lifecorp apparently whipped out years ago and Eric has to settle his bills with Lifecorp before they will administer the vaccine. Hmm Ralph Virus is it called that cause it makes you Ralph?  So Eric goes to Lifecorp and meets Cary in the elevator and who say “I wouldn't.” what I'm not sure but I guess it is something to do with him never getting sick, Chris Sarandon loves the greatness of Eric’s body and health and Eric signs an agreement that he has one year and then they come for him and carve him up for parts, he is given the money he needs for his son and a lovely electric bracelet.

He gets to the hospital with the money and wouldn't you know it he's too late, the doctor says he is dead and that the body had to be destroyed. I suspect that he isn't dead and will turn up in the last act and that Lifecorp had him the whole time. Eric tries to give the money back and they won't take it, because he signed the agreement. Chris Sarandon says he has to get an early retrieval order on Eric as he is dangerous for the company and has chucked all the money into the lobby of the Lifecorp building, a judge is forced to agree with Lifecorp.

Eric gets drunk but isn't weeping like I've seen him in other movies, come on your son just died, Cary turns up kills Eric’s friend and goes after Eric with those stormtroopers and Cary like Logan before him says "They always run." 

Love interest of the movie has tuned up, I know this cause she was Jack Bauer’s and John Smiths Love interest for a season on 24 and Dead Zone respectively. OK I could be wrong she is a female bounty hunter called Alex for Lifecorp but as Al said in an episode of Quantum Leap “There are five stages of love, the first denial, second is sex, then there's acceptance, then is divorce and then there's sex, if your's a theory of mine and a darn good one!”

Eric saved Alex's life and so now she is his bodyguard, meanwhile the doctor that treated his son is filing the report on his son's death and says he had a high white cell count which was inconsistent with the virus.

This film to me is so funny the Dread Pirate Roberts is being bossed around by Prince Humperdink and all I keep thinking of is the pain speech.

I'm not saying this film is predictable, OK I am, I haven't seen this before, but the story isn't new and I can see what’s going to happen next a mile off; lets put it this way Eric is Sarah Conner, Alex is Kyle Reece and Cary Elwes is the Terminator and will probably come round to helping Eric by the end and kill Chris Sarandon. That is my prediction at 43 minutes into the film.

We have some Blade Runner, Running Man and Freejack future screens on city buildings, and Eric gets the Doctor to remove the implant put in Eric when he was being check by Lifecorp and the guy who put it in Eric calls the guards and Eric grabs him and puts the implant down his mouth and so the stormtroopers take that guy instead, considering all the big pictures of Eric on the city buildings you would think they could tell the Lifecorp guy wasn't him.

Alex takes them back to her place to get her money, yes when hiding your money hide it a boom-box you have to smash to get at it. Dun dun dun Cary is in her apartment, well he has been seeing Alex and Eric is now wearing one of his jackets. Eric turns up and threatens to shoot Cary but trackers turn up so he has to get going and he chucks the jacket cause it belonged to Cary.

Oh Wow Alex and Eric are in bed and cold hmm I wonder where this is leading...yes stage 2 of love Sex, oh no girl got shot down by Eric wow guess your not his type. Next morning and Eric's pictures are not on the buildings, but he keeps seeing pictures of his son. Eric decides his son's alive and that he doesn't need a plan to get him back and he faces off with the stormtroopers and delivers a cheesy line “If you thought this was over think again.”

Meanwhile the doctor that treated his son has figured out that the medical results of Eric’s son were faked and has been called into Lifecorp he shares his findings with Chris' second in command. They confront Chris about what he did and he admits it and he is told the board have fired him, he ignores this and he fires to doctor so Cary shoots him, he then gives the order to the stormtroopers to get Eric and shoot to kill after Chris said both Eric and his son's blood could double life expectancy, and they don't need Eric, so If they didn't need Eric and they had his son what was the point of the chase?

Eric and Alex crash into Lifecorp and avoid getting caught by the stormtroopers and mess with the elevators, they find a load of kids on the 78th floor, he gets Alex to take care of the kids, cause well he has to go to the top floor and confront the bad guys and get his son back, I wonder will this have the Last Action Hero Slater's son moment?

OK prediction about Carey's character was wrong we have him fighting Eric on a moving elevator, well bad blue screen CGI elevators, but apart from that is is actually a well filmed fight cause I can see what’s happening not like some action movies. Cary falls to what we think is his death but he can't be killed, he lands in the elevator Alex is in and they fight it out, and he gets electrocuted but no still not dead, so he makes her shoot him, he has to be dead now.

Eric sets off a bomb and Alex arrives on 100th floor in stormtrooper outfit and kills the other stormtroopers while Eric Swings into the building from the roof a bit like John McClane, Alex fights it out with the stormtroopers while Eric finds Chris holding his son with a gun to his head in front of stained glass doors to a balcony and Chris tries to take Eric over the side with him but Eric's son holds his legs and Eric drops Chris and like my mum always points out he lands in the recovery position.

Chris' second in command is now in charge and orders that his body be checked out, Alex joins Eric and son on the balcony and he says “I lied I am afraid of falling.” and she replies “I'll catch you.” I didn't mind that sort of dialogue in Disney's Enchanted but in an action B movie I just barfed a bit. We get some more of that bad CGI that looks like it belongs in a PC game from 2000 and that's the end.

OK so not all my predictions were right, but I was right this movie is predictable but it comes round to being awesome and that is mainly because of the casting of Eric Roberts, Cary Elwes and Chris Sarandon, they are great actors who you can tell have fun with there rolls weather it be villains or good guys they grab you and you want to watch to see what they'll do next. I would pay to see another movie with these guys there chemistry together was brilliant. However that said Alex played by Sarah Wynter is not great she feels like the Kochanski of the group, as my sex and violence in film teacher told us, she is in the film to just be a love interest and to show that the guys are not gay cause they love or have loved her.

So would I recommend this film, in a word yes, it is a hilarious action film you don't see that often any more. the fight scenes are shot in a why that you can see what’s happening which is great, not like in the recent film The Eagle where you can't even tell what the hell your looking at during the fights, it's just close-up and fast cuts; this is the reason I love Martial arts films with Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Biao Yuen, Jet Li and many others, because they show the fights the same way Fred Astair and Gene Kelly made sure you could see them dancing from head to toe.

Well like I said if you like B movie action check this film out you won't be disappointed.

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