Meatball Movie Review The Belko Experiment
What would you do if you where locked in your office building with 80 co-workers and a mysterious voice that told you to start killing each other? Would you try to figure out a way to save everyone or would human nature take hold and a battle for survival begin?
In The Belko Experiment writer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) Action/Thriller dives into this idea. The plot is simple enough, A twisted social experiment featuring a group of 80 Americans locked in their high-rise corporate office which is located in Bogata, Colombia when an unknown voice coming from the company's intercom system orders them to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
The film stars John Gallagher Jr (10 Cloverfield Lane), Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), John C. McGinley (Scrubs) and many other B Star faces you will recognize like Michael Rooker (Mallrats/The Walking Dead). It is one of the first films to be released by Orion Pictures who was quielty relaunched by MGM Studios a couple years ago.
The movie jumps right out of the gate, in the opening stretch which has a certain pyschological scare to it. They all find themselves locked inside their workplace by a series of Iron Shutters slamming down over every door and window. They are greeted by a not familiar voice on the company intercom comanding them to kill a certain number of employees in a set time frame. If they fail the challenge then they will double the number of deaths and choose at random who to kill. In fact they can choose who to kill at random as they demonstrate rather quickly because the supposed "tracking devices" corporate implanted in them are actually bombs to remotely blow open their skulls. The 80 people start off like you normaly would in a situation of unformularity with polite discussion but quickly begins to snowball to cold logical reasons of survival after they realize the captures are serious about killing everyone.
The suspense in this film comes from the idea of human nature. When put in a situation of life or death what do you do? Do you act like Mike (Gallagher) trying to rationalize and come up with a plan to save everyone or do you decent into madness like Wendell (McGinley).
One of the best aspects of this movie is the way Gunn, wrote the screenplay years ago, before Marvel scooped him up. He manages to tell a story that is uneasy on the senses and never settles for a consistent tone. Yes, the lack of character depth is a bad thing but a film like this with a 93 minute run time isn't depending on the characters. You spend about 5 seconds finding out about one mans family and really only know that Mike is involved with Leandra (Adria Arjona from True Detective).
This film teeters between fun and brutal gore/violence. You won't be jumping out of your chairs or chilled to the bone by the premiese but you will enjoy a good bag of popcorn and seeing some interesting things. I don't think I will ever look at a tape dispenser the same again following this.
I give the film 2 1/2 out of 5 meatballs. Its a middle of the road film, if you want Character Depth you won't get it here but you will get action, blood, gore, violence and a little sexuality out of this film that will keep you entertained throughout.