No Man Could Survive This.
Starring: Zoe Bell, Rachel Nichols, Tracie Thoms, Bruce Thomas, Doug Jones, Sherilyn Fenn, Amy Johnston
Director: Josh C. Waller
2013 | 92 Minutes | Rated R
“We’re only doing this because we have to.” – Sabrina
Sabrina (Zoe Bell), Jamie (Rachel Nichols) and 48 other women have been drugged, abducted and are now forced to fight to the death or their loved ones will pay the price.
I’d been wanting to see Raze for quite some time, mostly because I keep hoping that Zoe Bell will finally get a break and turn into the action star that I believe she can become. After watching though, I think I’ll have to keep waiting.
There isn’t much of a story to Raze. There’s a tiny bit of explanation as to why these fights are taking place but that’s it. The vast majority of the movie is one brutal fight after the other, very few having much in the way of cuts or montage style to them. These are full on, fight’s to the death.
Typically when I call a movie’s fights brutal, I mean that as a compliment. With Raze, they certainly achieved a high level of brutality but I never once found myself enjoying it. There’s a lot of reasons that come to mind for why these fights feel so much less enjoyable than some of my favorite fight to the death action movies.
The presentation of the fights is much more gritty and dirty and brutal (there’s that word again) than the typical tournament fight movie. Nothing is glorified. There are very few dramatic pauses.
These are also all women. I know that may come off as sexist on my behalf but I don’t really care for innocent (or mostly innocent) women beating each other to a bloody pulp. That’s just not something I seek out for a good time… unless it’s the UFC, in which case I eat it up… go figure.
There’s also the matter of, these ladies are not choosing to be here. They didn’t come fight for honor or pride or honor. They are simply fighting to allow themselves and their families another day to live.
And to top it all off, it’s all very exploitative feeling. Not entirely like the exploitation movies of yore, more like these girls are being exploited for the enjoyment of these mysterious people. They wear simple grey sweatpants and tight white tank tops. But there doesn’t seem to be anything sexual about what they are doing. They are simply watching women destroy each other and enjoying every minute of it.
The main reason I stuck this movie out was that I thought that there might be a redeeming or interesting ending to the movie… maybe a big reveal of who exactly these people are that are holding these women… something to make the last 90 minutes worthwhile. But redemption was not to come.
Raze isn’t necessarily a bad movie. The performances, fights, etc. are decent enough for what they are, but Raze is just not something that is enjoyable to watch… but it seems that was the intention…