The stars of the very successful Football Factory & The Business team up again for 'The Ultimate Death Race.' Sounds like fun.
First of all I have to mention that I have been sorely dissapointed with Hassan & Dyer's recent films with the exception of Dead Man Running which I actually enjoyed. The duo seem to be living out their roles from The Business in real life. From the heights of success and coolness to the dirty shell-suited desperadoes just clinging on to a slither of dignity in their third act. But that could all change with 'Freerunner.'
features Danny Dyer and Tamer Hassan weilding massive machine guns. It looks cool, but you soon realise by reading the synopsis on the back that neither of them in the lead role in this movie. Sean Francis is. He is not on the front cover at all. So we know the cover is misleading, not a good start, but at this point I'm not put off.
The movie starts with some overly stylised shaky camera footage of some free runners - running and jumping. It's ok but doesn't really hold your attention. The added film grain and colour grading seems to work ok, but that damn shaky camera is so annoying. We get a glimpse of Hassan and Dyer and then some bad acting by the freerunners. Oh dear. There is some voiceover work by Hassan ( or was it Dyer, I can't remember ) and then we are introduced to the main character who has an internal dialogue voice over. Not a good start for him either BUT after the pointless monologue, we see some actual acting and it turns out that Sean Feris actually carries this film. His acting is good, he looks like Tom Cruise, he sounds like Tom Cruise and he is playing a similar role to... Tom Cruise 'Race against time...get to the bad guys before they get to you' - It works. That is the the positives. All of the positives in that one sentence.
The negatives are substantial. The film has too many vibes going on. Serious action vibe, tongue in cheek vibe, grindhouse vibe... Some of the characters don't seem to know what their motivation is or what context to play their roles. Dyers character is unconvincing as the main bad guy. Hassan doesn't really have a role worth mentioning at all.
The first half of the film is very hard work. The acting is bad, the direction is awful, the freerunning stuff is tedious and the story is very weak. The second half is alot better, the real story is revealed and the race begins. There story is basically: a group of freerunners have to race to the other side of town. They have exploding colors fitted. Only one will survive. Bets are taken from billionaires and it's televised in a running man style. The main problem with this is freerunning. It just isn't necessary and is actually quite boring to watch. They are meant to be fighting for their lives but the fights are general action is lame. It would have been much better to stick to the old tried and tested random people or bad-ass convicts.
UK Films Rating: 3/10
Release Rating: 7/10 - Behind Scenes and freeruning extras
Did James like it? Yes