Race Against Time

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

In the future, a company called Lifecorps has went into business of human organs and been very successful. The process involves having a client sign up to donate their organs after a certain amount of time, then once the corporation collects, they turn around and sell the much needed organs. This usually results in a windfall of profits for them and with an always steady need for organ donations, they’ll be in business for some time. When he needs a lot of money to pay for his son’s medical expenses, James Gabriel (Eric Roberts) signs up to donate his organs within a year’s time. As time passes, he learns that his agreement with Lifecorps was made under false circumstances, as his son had no need for the medical process he paid for. But with little evidence and Lifecorps looking to erase what little he does have, it won’t be easy for Gabriel to save his own life.

This film has a solid basic premise, but some serious mistakes happen that prevent it from being a worthwhile effort. First of all, this is a made for cable excursion and that means lower budgets, which means the special effects look primitive at best. This is a vital element in action driven science-fiction, so the lack of quality special effects (or even decent visuals at all) really hinders this one. Also, the standards for cable movies forces them to lower the violence levels, which also detracts a lot from this motion picture. You don’t need a lot of violence of course, but with this film, it sure would have helped a lot. The cast is weak at best and when Eric Roberts is the lead in your sci/fi action thriller, you know you’re in trouble. I wanted to like this one, I really did, but in the end, it sunk like a stone. A rental is in order if you’re interested, but I think a purchase here is unjustified.

You can’t expect a star studded cast on one of these made for cable flicks, but this film sports a weak team, even by direct to video standards. Eric Roberts (No Alibi, Restraining Order) heads the cast and he has talent, but not in a role like this one. I’ve liked this work in some recent dramatic films, but as an action hero, he is less than acceptable. He tries and tries, but never gels with his character and the various challenges he faces. I know he needs cash like anyone else, but let’s hope he skips roles like this in the future. The cast also includes Cas Anvar (Twist of Fate), Sarah Wynter (Species II, The 6th Day), Chris Sarandon (The Princess Bride, Just Cause), Cary Elwes (Kiss The Girls, Robin Hood: Men In Tights), and Diane Venora (The Jackal, The Substitute).

Video: How does it look?

Race Against Time is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a very nice transfer, which is a vast improvement over the film’s presentation on television. The colors look bright and bold, with no real errors to report and the flesh tones emerge in fine form as well. No problems with the contrast either, detail level looks good and the black shades appear well balanced. No source print damage or compression errors either, this is a very good treatment for a made for cable flick.

Audio: How does it sound?

This disc uses a 2.0 surround track, which provides a better experience than you might expect. The film’s music makes good use of the surround channels, as do the somewhat sparse sound effects. A few scenes really light up the system, but there’s much less audio presence than you’d expect from this kind of material. I don’t fault this sound mix though, as the material just never pushes the action too much. The dialogue is sharp and crisp at all times as well, no problems to discuss here. The disc also houses subtitles in English and French, which are always nice to have on deck.

Supplements: What are the extras?

You’ll find some talent files, two brief promotional featurettes, and the film’s trailer.

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