Reel Talk: Run, Hide, Fight

One of my favorite conservative media outlets is The Daily Wire, which is run by YouTube commentator Ben Shapiro. His Daily Wire partner, Jeremy Boreing, is a former Hollywood guy and evangelical whose worldview simply didn’t mesh with the dominant Hollywood culture, so he left. One of their stated goals, besides championing free speech, is reconsidering the conservative decision to cede the culture to the left.

One of the ways they propose to rectify this, is by using their knowledge and understanding of the film industry to produce feature films. Their first release, Run, Hide, Fight was recently released through the Daily Wire. Viewers lauded it on Rotten Tomatoes, while critics panned it. Politics has indeed infected every facet of American life. The official trailer is below, and my thoughts about the film will follow.

My general conclusion is that as a garden variety shoot ’em up action film, it was pretty well done. The acting was good, and the stunts and effects were done well enough also. It is a very violent, gruesome film, so be warned. The premise is that disgruntled students plan an elaborate armed heist to take control of their rural high school, and kill as many students as possible in the process.

The hero, 18-year-old Zoe, played by Isabel May, is an angry troubled girl, still reeling from the loss of her mother. Despite her father’s best efforts, she is impossibly hard to reach, and is basically ticking off time until she graduates, goes off to college, and leaves their home town for good. One of the things Zoe has allowed her father to teach her is how to hunt, shoot, and respect nature.

I’ll be honest. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, it bothered me that the hero was a girl. Not because I have an inherent problem with the hero being a girl, but because I hated that The Daily Wire felt the need to make the hero female. I understood why they did it, so I accepted it, but this was a lost opportunity. One of the ways -in my opinion- you fight back in the culture war is not only by making high quality films, but by using those films to challenge the dominant narrative. Since men have been all but eliminated as heroes in the minds of most movie watchers, making the hero a boy would have been to toss a live round right back into the middle of the current trend.

I’ll wrap this review up with another missed opportunity, but I think it’s fair to point out some of the things that I liked about the film. The acknowledgement that most school lock down plans put students more in harms way, not less, was subtle but unmistakable. The jabs at the social media juggernauts that often drive people over the edge, motivating them to do less than honorable acts solely for the sake of an audience, was also astute.

The other missed opportunity I noticed was to not to jump on the “nearly every couple in the film is interracial” bandwagon. Before I go farther, I want to be clear. I have absolutely no objections to interracial couplings. I am a firm believe in vetting potential suitors for faith, character, and work ethic before ethnic background unless that is something of supreme importance to you. If it is, I respect it. I truly just do not care about that one way or the other. I am a firm believer in the family of God trumping temporal characteristics.

However, I also don’t like being propagandized and pushed to view something as desirable and normative when it is neither strongly desired nor normative for most people. Don’t tell me what to think! Again, since the entirety of Hollywood is on this particular bandwagon, I was a bit disappointed that the Daily Wire guys didn’t make a conscious choice not to go there. Why not have the captain of the football team asked the blonde head cheerleader to prom, in more of a throwback to the days when films were a little less overtly political? Why does Zoe’s love interest have to be a black kid? I didn’t dislike the characters, but I was looking for this film to back away from current trends, not lean into them. I don’t see any other way to gain ground in the culture war, for those who purport to care about that.

Overall, it was a decent film, if you don’t mind the violence and you are not *triggered* by a graphic portrayal of school shooters. It didn’t however, appear to me to produce any kind of serious effort to reject Hollywood’s narrative trajectory. Actually, it was just the opposite.

3 out of 5 stars.

5 thoughts on “Reel Talk: Run, Hide, Fight

  1. Will S. says:

    Thanks for this review, Elspeth.

    Those two things (like you, not in themselves but as agitprop) bug me enough that I would rather avoid.

    But, if this media company is willing to have a male hero in a future movie, I might consider them in future. Glad that they are trying to provide an alternative…

    Like

  2. Elspeth says:

    It really doesn’t matter what conservatives do or say, the racist/sexist label is still going to be thrown at them.

    So why not say, “Screw it”, and refuse to play that game? Why not just make the hero male and ignore the criticism? The criticisms of the film would still be the same as they were if they’d not used the current Hollywood agitprop

    If this is how DW think they can engage in the culture war from the right, it was a subpar first showing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hearthie says:

    If we could just get our production values and acting up to … current, that would be awesome.

    Example: My church passed out cards that we were supposed to use to evangelize with links to “Helpful” videos on hotbutton issues. . It was a great idea, but the videos were straight out of the late 80s. I’m so glad I checked them before giving them to ANYONE.

    Like

  4. Elspeth says:

    It was a great idea, but the videos were straight out of the late 80s. I’m so glad I checked them before giving them to ANYONE.

    Yeah. I think we need more film makers that happen to be Christian rather than people who set out to be “Christian filmmakers”.

    To be sure, Run, Hide, Fight is no one’s Christian movie, and the production was top notch.

    I just thought that it would have been better if they’d deliberately refrained from using Hollywood’s schemes and tropes.

    Like

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