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Range Runners       review by Bobby Blakey

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While often times hard to watch films like I Spit On Your Grave have more to them than just the horrors of the attack, but also the theme of woman rising up to take back their power and avenge themselves. The latest film Range Runners looks like it might have a similar theme and stars Celeste M Cooper, Sean Patrick Leonard, Michael B. Woods, and Tiffany Renee, but does it have that same showcase of power or is it a race going nowhere?

Range Runners follows a woman thru-hiking an isolated trail runs into trouble when her pack is hijacked by two men hiding out in the woods, desperate and on the run. Now, stranded and left to fend for herself, she has a choice: crawl back to her normal life in defeat, or push forward and take back what was stolen from her. First let me say this isn’t quite the movie I thought it was from the trailer and that is not a bad thing, just different.

The story is multilayered with all of it intertwined more than you might think. On one side you have the flashback elements with her training with her overbearing father and the other her current situation. A lot of it felt initially way too convenient to explain away her survival skills, but there is something else here as well. I loved that it was never a race situation or even overly horrible bad guys but instead varying people with their own agendas that crossed paths and turns into something deadly.

Sure the people she deals with are bad guys, but it never turned into this crazed stereotypical killers but instead guys that just want to deal with their own crap, but with too much thrown in to the mix. The same can be said for her when she is initially left and could have survived with little effort, but has her own agenda to deal with that they have now caused. It all turns into a fight for survival against these men and against the elements and for something that is way more personal.

The cast do a good job with Celeste Cooper leading the charge. She has to deal with a range of emotions along with her younger self played great by Mariah

Gordon. They both bring the balance needed to the character in both story and overall strength. I really dug the calm demeanor approach to Sean Patrick Leonard who is the lead bad guy of sorts. His southern delivery and often sweet dialect makes for a more menacing character despite never being overly crazed until later in the film.

While it wasn’t the film I expected to get it still worked well to deliver a strong character. It’s about finding that inner strength to survive no matter what, letting go and forgiveness for things that are bigger than you might understand at the time.

Decide for yourself and check out Range Runners available now on DVD and Digital from Dark Star Pictures and Uncork’d Entertainment.

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