These types of films aren’t for everybody and this was the case here. Some hated it but I loved it since I’m a big fan of B movies. Sure it’s big, stupid, and doesn’t have much of a story but was also a thrill to watch thanks to its sense of style and all the different, excessively violent ways in which the film would rack up a surprisingly high body count. It’s also written by the writer/director of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, James Gunn. Suffice it to say, this film is much different. (original review)
Synopsis: The 80 employees at a Bogotá, Colombia, company called the Belko Corporation are horrified when they are suddenly locked in their office building and ordered to kill each other — or else face death themselves. Soon, the staff are torn between those willing to give in to their baser instincts, and those arguing that they should stand firm against their captors. (Rovi)
Starring: John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, and Adria Arjona
Writer: James Gunn
Director: Greg McLean
Rating: 18A (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 89mins
If you’re a fan of fun, mindless B-movies, then this one may be up your alley. Because of this, those wanting more may be disappointed (but if you want more then you’re probably not watching this in the first place). To truly enjoy the film, one must turn their brains off. The story was rather simple (and you can get it from the trailers) and was just a bunch of coworkers became trapped in an office building who are forced to kill each other or they would get killed themselves.
There wasn’t particular anything new or original here with the story playing out in the way one would expect. There wasn’t much to the characters other than where they stood personally. There were the good guys, the bad guys, and the disposable characters. As the film went on, these roles became clearly defined. Lines were drawn as the bond between these coworkers became threatened, leading to them to show their true natures. The devolution of these characters was gradual without them becoming too caricaturish and was compelling to watch. Of course, not everyone devolved since there still had to be good guys and bad guys.
Once things started to get crazy, they really got crazy and being a relatively short film, clocking in at just under 90 minutes, the film went straight into it things. The pacing was great as there was always something going on, beit people getting killed violently or the occasional instance of subtle workplace-related dark comedy. Both worked very well and fit with the general silliness of the story. The story was silly but it was also exciting and suspenseful, wondering if they were going to survive all the craziness where the film definitely earned its R rating. This was accentuated by the cinematography and set design that emphasized the film’s cramped and claustrophobic environment.
In films like these, the why isn’t necessarily the most important (for most people at least) and that was the case here. The point of everything was a social experiment about human behavior which was kind of unnecessary (for reasons that should be obvious) and the film eventually alluded to this on a grander scale but it never got to explain anything. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since as mentioned, the film will leave those wanting more a little disappointed.
The acting was what one would assume for a film like this. There were a lot of characters in the film but a few of them stood out more than others. Gallagher Jr. was good as the film’s lead, Mike Milch. He was the closest thing to a moral center and was fun to watch while maneuvering around the insanity on screen. Goldwyn was also good as the film’s villain, Barry Norris. Norris was probably the opposite of Milch but he came from a place of good intentions. Goldwyn did a good job at portraying his devolution while keeping him relatively human. The film had good guys and bad guys but they were all likable.
Overall, this was an exciting and silly B-movie with an unoriginal story that was still executed better than most thanks to its visuals, thrilling action, lots of violence, suspense, and good performances.