Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Raze

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 58% (Critics) / 47% (Audience)
Directed By: Josh C. Waller
Written By: Robert Beaucage, Kenny Gage and Josh C. Waller
Starring: Zoë Bell, Rachel Nichols, Tracie Thoms, Doug Jones and Sherilyn Fenn
Studio: IFC Films
Synopsis: A young woman is abducted by an elite, secret society and wakes to find herself in the company of fifty other women who are, just like her, forced to fight for their lives in an unimaginable hell. – (Source)

The Good:
This film gets one point in the positive column from me for pulling off a nice fakeout early in the movie.

The Bad:
This movie is just awful and fails at whatever it was attempting to be which could have been any number of different types films. It seems at times to want to make a big show female empowerment and sisterhood but that falls flat. And the performances are all so stilted and wooden. I never bought any of these women as fighting desperately for their loved ones because all of their backstories were so paint by numbers that they ended up being laughable when explained to the audience in clumsy, hamfisted scenes of exposition.
As a “Women in Prison” movie it is a dud because the director seemed psychotically determined to make the most depressing movies he could. At least prior “WiP” movies like WOMEN IN CAGES, BLACK MAMA/WHITE MAMA and CHAINED HEAT were self-aware enough to know that a hefty dose of camp was needed to make this type of film not completely buckle under the weight of the inherent misogyny that permeates this subject matter.

The Ugly:
For a film that is supposed to spotlight the combat between these captive women the actual fight scenes were horribly shot. Too many quick cuts, annoying music that made my brain hurt, bad angles in every frame. Just terrible all around.

Final Verdict: An unrelenting and dour movie that fails at every conceivable turn. Not titillating enough to be an exploitation film, not as well made as it needs to be to make the audience truly think about the themes it attempts to convey and not even a very good action movie. However, if you want to watch attractive women beat each other to bloody pulps in badly shot fight scenes then this the film for you. I’d rather watch pretty much anything else.

Grade: D-

4 thoughts on “Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Raze”

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