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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Race Against Time
Race Against Time
Warner Bros.
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted January 17, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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CineSchlock-O-Rama

Watching Race Against Time (2000, 90 minutes) reminds me of another flick recently reviewed called Freejack. Both involve future worlds and human body harvesting, and curiously enough, they're helmed by the same director, Geoff Murphy. Those and other similarities certainly explain my sense of deja vu.

The movie: This time we've got working man Eric Roberts running from Englishster Cary Elwes and his helmeted goon squad. While Freejack had race car driver Emilio Estevez running from Englishster Mick Jagger and his goon squad (himself in an over-sized helmet). Both leads were victims of corporate greed at the highest levels. Roberts' character has to sign away his body to science to save his son. While Estevez was to become Anthony Hopkins' new skin. Each are helped (and sometimes hindered) by beautiful young women -- Sarah Wynter and Rene Russo (well, Rene looks a little long-in-the-tooth during the opening scenes). Each film features MULTIPLE foot and all-terrain-vehicle chases, ultimately ending with the hero laying siege to the sky-scraper fortress of his oppressors. If only EITHER movie were any good. But Elwes IS cooly evil as the Lifecorps mercenary sent to bring suicide contractees home in body bags. Chris Sarandon is oily as ever as the highly unscrupulous doctor determined to live forever -- or at least twice as long. And Sarah Wynter is so HOT that they cloned her in Ah-nold's The 6th Day. I'll take two, please.

Notables: No breasts. 12 corpses. Welding. Fire extinguisher to the face. Pistol whipping. Elevator abuse. Insta-Freeze sleeping bags.

Quotables: Gabriel is stoically cautious, "My bounty hunter turns out to be my body guard? It's a little confusing." And practical, "I'm not afraid of falling. It's the landing that scares me."

Time codes: Gabriel shows off with some high-rise aerobatics (7:30). Same building/hallway featured in the Art of War bullet-dodging scene that's nothing at all like The Matrix -- they swear (16:43).

Audio/Video: Strong on both counts, the widescreen (1.85:1) print gets a little hairy during the heavily CGI'd sequences like the elevator fight when the black levels start to shimmy and shake. Solid Dolby Digital Surround track.

Extras: Trailer. About three minutes of behind-the-scenes footage featuring comments from Roberts, Elwes and Wynter. Also spends some time hyping the less-than-impressive digital FX. Cast profiles. Static menus without audio.

Final thought: Glimmers in its early scenes with hope of actually being a sci-fi thriller about human organ harvesting -- and the goose-stepping enforcers who make it happen. Instead, it is what it is, a made-for-TNT knock off of previous unremarkable films. Rent it.

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.

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