Run Hide Fight

  • 23 Jan - 29 Jan, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Run Hide Fight is Die Hard in a high school, with a 17-year-old female John McClane getting motivational input from her dead cancer mom as she dismantles the murderous plot using little more than gut instincts.

Back home, that 17-year-old Zoe Hull (Isabel May) is still having conversations with her late mother Jennifer. Todd worries his daughter is cutting herself off, giving up her cell phone in what seems an aberration for a teenager; even her spiky rapport with her devoted best friend Lewis suggests an unhealthy guardedness.

Partly to avoid the subject of Lewis' invitation to the senior prom, Zoe is lingering in the restroom when a group of her schoolmates drive a van through the wall of the cafeteria during lunch break and spread instant terror by killing a handful of the students gathered there.

The ringleader is grandiloquent douche Tristan, who calls his plan "a reckoning." His disciples are blubbery Kip, whose rage is traced back to a sixth grade bullying incident; violently disturbed Chris, prone to paranoid episodes; and his sister Anna, a surly punk who is also Tristan's girlfriend.

The shooters have meticulously planned their assault, planting explosives and setting fires around town as diversions to keep the authorities busy. But Tristan has no intention of remaining unobserved, calling the office to put the school on lockdown and then singling out yearbook editor Lewis as the student with the most social media followers to live-stream the chilling event. An attempt by the vice principal and school security guard to intervene does not go well.

As Zoe starts alerting other students and faculty within the building, facilitating their escape while going back inside, mostly solo, to confront the assailants, the whole thing becomes faintly ludicrous. There's nothing lacking in the committed performance from May. But even her establishing scenes are a tad on-the-nose, wearing Todd's military jacket as she heads out the door while he reminds her she's not at war. Which of course is a sure indication she soon will be.

As she wriggles through school ventilation shafts, goes mano a mano with Anna and limps around with a bullet wound in her leg, Zoe's resourcefulness and strength grow rather than weaken, steering the movie farther away from anything resembling realism.