If you haven’t heard already, The Daily Wire has decided to dip it’s toes into the world of filmmaking. Their first feature film premiered last night titled Run, Hide, Fight. I personally loved the movie but I am going to try and put my bias aside and give it an honest review to see if it stacks up against what giants like Hollywood, and Netflix can put out.
Synopsis: (minimal spoilers)
Run, Hide, Fight tells the story of a high school senior (Zoe Hull) who finds herself caught in the midst of a school shooting. A combination of cunning on the part of the shooters and incompetence by the school staff allows the shooters to take control of the school and begin live streaming their heinous acts to the world. Through the use of her own ingenuity and some help along the way she manages to escape from the school but decides to go back and rescue her fellow class mates rather than run for safety. Zoe puts herself firmly in the crosshairs and does all she can to stop the shooters before it’s too late.
Potential Spoilers to Follow
Run, Hide, Fight had, what I would consider, a very Hollywood level of realism at times. The gun related parts of the movie made little sense, watching someone fire a double barrel shotgun three times without reloading was definitely a face palm moment. The fact that a school locker door stopped multiple 9mm rounds is completely unbelievable, and to top it off one of the school shooters was carrying what appeared to be a fully automatic WWII era German MP-40. This makes little sense as that type of firearm is heavily restricted in the United States and would be insanely expensive as it is not only fully automatic but a nearly priceless relic of WWII. Now there are arguments that could be made that it is a replica that was modified by the shooter or something but I think this is a weak argument and there were better options that could have been used. The next really unrealistic part of the movie is how long it take for the police and school administration to be informed of what is going on. Now the shooters in the movie do take the time to cause diversions in the form of explosions away from the school in order to block traffic but I still believe the police response time is strange in the context of the events happening. Stranger still is the possibility that the teachers and staff take as long as they do to even find out what is happening. Here is a quick list of events that take place with the staff of the school seeming to be completely oblivious: A van drives through the wall of the lunch room, fully automatic gunfire as well as several shotgun blasts, dozens of kid are allowed by the shooters to call their parents and tell them what is happening, a live stream is started of what is happening, the internet and phone lines are cut, the power is cut. It is not until the security guard narrowly misses being executed and runs to the office that a lockdown is called. This is completely unbelievable, you want me to believe that a van drove through the wall of the lunch room and no one heard it throughout the building? No one heard the gunfire in the lunch room? No one escaped and informed the staff in the office? No parents called the school to report that a shooting was taking place? The movie makes the point to show the stupidity of bureaucracy as the staff wont call a lockdown until it is confirmed what is taking place, but to me it is completely unbelievable that they did not hear or see anything that was going on and still needed confirmation 20 minutes or so after the shooting began. The rest of the movie has your normal movie happenings, hero dad shows up just in time to save his daughter and the like. These I have no problem with as there does have to be some level of disbelief suspension when you are watching a movie. However what I talked about previously results in the C grade for the movie.
The movie was extremely engaging, it held my attention throughout the movie and I was always wondering what would happen next. It wasn’t a movie that was filled with twists and turns, it was very straightforward and at times could be considered predictable but it never felt like the movie was dragging or stuck in a rut. The foreshadowing before the action begins is fairly heavy handed but if you have seen the trailer you know what is going to happen anyway. I found myself going through a full range of emotions throughout the movie, there was comedy, suspense, action, and yes many scenes that were disturbing to say the least. I never found myself wanting to reach for my phone or otherwise distract myself out of boredom as can so often happen when watching TV or movies at home. I found it to be an extremely engaging film.
Now I’m no member of the Screen Actors Guild, but I know bad acting when I see it. This movie had none of that. The main characters were believable and were adept at showing not only the proper emotions for the scene at hand but the proper level of emotion. I never felt like anyone was particularly over-acting, and for a movie that contained almost no actors that I had seen before I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
Overall Impressions: B+
Overall I enjoyed watching the movie. If you don’t like graphic scenes of violence it is certainly not the movie for you, but if you can handle it I think the movie is well worth your time. If I saw this movie in theaters I would not feel like I had been ripped off and if I did not know that this was not made by Hollywood I don’t think I would have been able to tell. The special effects were good, they didn’t try to do too much and there was certainly never a time when I noticed any CG being used. I’m sure there was but it never jumped out at me which is always a good thing. The story overall was good and left you feeling satisfied with how it ended. I never felt like there was a specific agenda being pushed but there are certainly more conservative themes in this movie than I am used to seeing in Hollywood films. All in all I think the movie was worth the time I spent on it and if The Daily Wire continues to produce content like this I think a subscription is well worth the money. Even if you are not a conservative I think it could be worth it not only for the movies and other cultural content but to gain perspective from watching or listening to their other shows. I think Ben Shapiro and his outlet are the perfect face of the new conservative/libertarian movement in the US. I hope to see more content like this from them soon.