DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Run, Hide, Fight

Director - Kyle Rankin - 2020

"Thoroughly sanitised movie"
Highly formulaic and poor-taste American high school shooting drama both glamourises and fetishises violence to the extreme - on VoD on Sunday, August 15th

This is the last film Americans need to see right now. A country already grappling with mass shootings and gun control does not need to watch a gratuitous carnage, a film that neither raises nor answers any questions about the reasons behind such horrific massacres. Instead, it just satisfies the voyeuristic fantasies and quenches the thirst for blood of audiences that have become desensitised to extreme violence.

In this entirely predictable drama, Zoe Hull (Isabel May) is trapped in her high school while a few disgruntled pupils lock, psychologically torture and shoot their mates in the building’s cafeteria. They are led by the Tristan Voy (Eli Brown), supported by his clumsy sidekicks Chris (Britton Sear) and Kip (Cyrus Arnold). Meanwhile, Chris’s sister Anna (Catherine Davis) is placing bombs around the building. Tristan demands that the entire ordeal is broadcast live on social media. To his delight, he’s soon on television. Countless bullets, stabbings and explosions will follow.

This is the same old “American hero” versus “bad guys” story told one million times before. Tristan is plain evil, with an arrogant and sadistic smile permanently attached to his face (the kind of HUWAHAHAHAAAA villain). Zoe is a dignified, selfless and resilient 17-year-old. She is very skilled with large weapons, and never afraid to take matters into her own hands, stepping in where the adults failed to take action. She is some sort of gun-toting, right-wing version of Greta Thunberg (who is also featured in the Festival). A very strange ghost of her mother is constantly by her side encouraging her daughter to fight. She constantly makes very sarcastic and witty remarks to her living girl. As ghosts do.

The biggest problem with this adrenaline-inducing action movie (and there are many) is that it does little to challenge the extreme violence being perpetrated. Instead, it seeks to legitimise it. Firstly, it normalises the behaviour of the attackers with a very shoddy bullying pretext. Of course, being bullied explains why people carry out mass shootings; that has nothing to do with the country’s failure to implement gun control. Secondly, it encourages vigilantism. It’s perfectly natural and even commendable that you should take arms and shoot down the bad guys when the institutions fail to do it. Zoeisn’t the only one doing it: her father is a skilled sniper ready to protected the poor little kids.

There is absolutely nothing original and remarkable about Run, Hide, Fight. It is a very mediocre mass shooting movie. It does not have the dry subtleties of Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003), the psychological depth of We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011), or even the palpable realism of U – July 2 (Erik Poppe, 2018) . It also lacks the the ingeniousness of Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 1997), a film that depicts gratuitous, sadistic violence without graphically illustrating the attacks per se.

Run, Hide and Fight was one of the American entries at the 77th Venice International Film Festival, when this piece was originally published. It’s unusual for the Festival to pick up such a conventional genre movie. Our advice to you: run and hide from it! Out on Sky Cinema and NOW on Sunday, August 15th.

"Thoroughly sanitised movie"

By Victor Fraga - 10-09-2020

By Victor Fraga - 10-09-2020

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years of involvement in the cinema industry and beyond. He is an LGBT writer, and describes himself as a dirty Latin immigran...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
A small family of four lives in a [Read More...]
Another year has gone by, and DMovies is [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]

Read More

The Woodcutter Story

Mikko Myllylahti

Redmond Bacon - 21-05-2022

This typically Finnish tale ticks all the boxes of the national spirit, but failed to lift mine — live from the Cannes Film Festival! [Read More...]

Resistances: Words and Art for Fighting Political Defamation

Cristina Juliana Abril.

Liván García-Duquesne - 16-05-2022

Four Brazilian artists living in political exile aim to transform trauma into art and beauty, in this reflective piece of filmmaking - at the Rich Mix on Saturday, May 28th [Read More...]

The Drover’s Wife

Leah Purcelll

John McDonald - 12-05-2022

Meandering western led by a stellar performance covers some important themes, but it struggles to grip hold of its audience - in cinemas on Friday, May 13th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *