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  • This movie has a plot...unlike many.

    It has a reason for the evil corporations to exist and actually BE evil.

    It has action, suspense and martial arts...with a touch of mystery and drama.

    While the future was made a little bit too futuristic as it is supposed to be 2008 and this review is almost in 2007, it's not impossible to see too far off.

    Nice pacing, good casting.

    This goes on my watchable list of movies.

    If Arnold or Bruce Willis would have headlines, this would have been a blockbuster instead of a straight to video.

    I'm glad they didn't headline it, because they would have destroyed the lead character with their presence.

    Eric Roberts was cast great as the father.

    Cool movie...
  • This was an enjoyable action packed movie. The hospital scene with Roberts and his son (played by Daniel Magder) was touching. The caring and emotion between father a son was well acted and scripted. Although Magder's part was relatively small his relationship with his father was an integral part of the film. I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout the movie. This film scores high on my list.
  • In the future, US corporations take advantage of permissive suicide and health care laws to harvest human body parts. Those with healthy organs may trade them for a cash sum, upon death. If you plan to die quickly, you will get more money. Our story's hero is lowly high rise construction worker Eric Roberts (as James Gabriel). He is a poor widower, but in excellent health. "I never get sick," states Mr. Roberts. However, Roberts' son Daniel Magder (as Bobby) may not be so lucky. The child has contracted the dreaded "Ralph Virus" once thought to be extinct. It kills furiously fast, but there is a cure...

    Alas, the vaccine is prohibitively expensive. With his son literally at death's door, Roberts signs a contract with the wickedly corrupt "Lifecorps" corporation, for $300,000. Roberts must turn over his body for harvesting in exactly one year, but the money will cure Bobby. Of course, things can go wrong...

    Roberts is a reliable lead, as usual. He spars well with villainous Cary Elwes (as Burke), who is exceptional as elevator doors close on his face. Athletic blonde Sarah Wynter (as Alex) provides feminine companionship, but corporate officer Diane Venora (as Helen Steele) is the one with the more interesting yen for Roberts. "Lifecorps" sleaze Chris Sarandon (as Anton Stofeles) has little to do; it would have improved the story to have him be in desperate need of a Roberts body part. Robin Wilcock (as Rupert Elliot) is impressive. For a TNT Presents TV Movie, "Race Against Time" delivers the goods.

    ****** Race Against Time (7/23/00) Geoff Murphy ~ Eric Roberts, Cary Elwes, Sarah Wynter, Diane Venora
  • It's 2008. Laws have been passed allowing suicide. A corporation named Lifecorps pays people to surrender their bodies to science. Someone goes there, is paid a given big amount of money and time later, he/she will have her body parts and organs delivered to whom may need it.

    In that context, James Gabriel is a worker whose son is in serious condition in a hospital. With mounting debts, Gabriel is faced with the painful truth: his son has a supposedly already eradicated virus. The vaccines are too expensive and he has less than a day to get the money for them. Cornered by circumstances, he goes to Lifecorps. He is paid the money he needs and in a year he will be property of the corporation. However, when he returns, his son has already died and his body incinerated to prevent the disease from spreading.

    The doctor tells him that the vaccine was refused by the providers... Lifecorps. He returns there to give the money back and is nicely told that the deal remains. He tosses the money around like confetti and walks away, cursing everyone. The head of Lifecorps, considering this an open statement that Gabriel won't fulfill the contract (anticipatory breach of contract, they call it), sends his "seekers", lead by a Mr. Burke after Gabriel. So Gabriel must escape, helped by a bounty hunter who first tries to get him but later helps him.

    TV aired this one and I had nothing better to do. The movie has interesting action scenes and does not depict a highly technological future. Being TNT-produced, I'm bound to believe it's a TV release, what goes in favor of this film, and a not-big budget film, which allows to see actors out of the dreadful Hollywood mainstream. Eric Roberts is a good actor and does well, though his time has passed, and all he can apparently do now is appear in videos of Mariah Carey or The Killers. As for Cary Elwes, it's the first time I see him playing a real bad guy, and he has what it takes for that. Sarah Wynter is believable as Alex, the bounty hunter.

    It's no masterpiece, but an interesting movie worth watching. 6
  • "Race Against Time" may be a formulaic television movie, but this should diminish the film. Eric Roberts is great and Cary Elwes is devilishly better in an awesome movie called "Race Against Time."

    This is one of the most brilliant movies I have seen. The performances are awesome and best of all it is suspense filled. In addition to the suspense, "Race Against Time" brings non-stop, edge of your seat action and drama to a movie that has a star who acts in nothing but action movies.

    I must give praise to the writers and director of "Race Against Time" because they took an awesome script and turned it into a work of art. A man signs his life away to save his son but when he discovers his son is dead, he breaks the agreement and runs for his life. Who wouldn't watch this movie after reading the plot? I know I would watch it.

    The cast is phenomenal in "Race Against Time. Eric Roberts seems to get better and better with each role he takes. Roberts expands his acting skills from action to being a dedicated and caring father. It is always good to see that an actor can be versatile.

    However, the best actor in this whole movie was the evil Cary Elwes. Elwes is the ultimate bad guy and he portrays the villain never well. I wish I never got on the wrong side of Mr. Elwes. Besides Elwes, the climax of this film makes this film so good.

    "Race Against Time" is a heart-pumping, heart-warming, suspenseful and edge of your seat thriller that will involve you from start to finish. If you enjoy Eric Roberts you will enjoy "Race Against Time." TWO THUMBS WAY UP.
  • I remember when I went to see Freejack in 1992: I was hungry for some good post-apocalyptic cyberpunk cinema.

    The premise that time was the same as now: Protagonist tries to stay alive while penetrating to the heart of enormous, amoral forces that seek to turn him into spare parts. Back in 1992, we got a callow Emilio Esteves -- A world-class race-car driver? C'mon! -- as hero and romantic protagonist hopelessly miscast as a romantic foil to Renee Russo, who gamely did her best. What else? Let's see: Mick Jagger, phoning in his role with little more than a sneer, and Jerry Hall in a cameo doing her best Jerry Hall imitation. Even the normally excellent Anthony Hopkins seemed almost a plastic copy of himself.

    Compare with this time around. Same premise, but this time Eric Roberts' character and Sarah Wynter's generate some actual sympathy and chemistry when they're not adding to the body count -- both showing some depth of character and conscience, each in his/her way. Cary Elwes is chillingly effective in his role as a hunter of almost reptilian persistence. Diane Venora turns in a fine supporting performance as an executive apparatchik who discovers the gross misjustice being perpetrated. And the curious flatness and jerkiness of Freejack eight years ago is eclipsed by this much better-paced story.
  • James Gabriel is a construction worker desperately trying to earn sufficient money to pay the hospital bills of his critically ill son Bobby. When a major safety incident sees him confront his supervisor, he is fired and left with no job. Unfortunately, the same day, he learns that his son's condition has worsened and, unless he gets a very expensive vaccination, he will die within 12 hours, a day at absolute most. With no other option James signs an agreement with company Lifecorps to sell his body for harvesting for organ transplants a year from now in exchange for $300,000. However when his son dies due to Lifecorps refusal to give him the vaccine ahead of payment, James returns the money and tells them where to put their contract. The Corporation takes this as a verbal refusal of contract and gets a court order to complete early – setting Burke and his men on him to bring him in.

    Despite the mostly low-rent cast (no offence Roberts, Elwes, Wynter and Vendora but you're hardly A-list are you?), TVM status, afternoon scheduling and the fact that channel 5 was showing it, I decided to give this a go anyway. The plot offers a simple set-up to basically create a Running Man situation where a Corporation chases down its "property". The film offers plenty of potential for commentary on the future of Corporations, the commercialisation of health care and the role of individuals within this corporate world and I was hoping for the film to bring that out. It seems to lack the intelligence to go much beyond the surface but the concept and world set-up are interesting enough. The plot is reasonable simply but perhaps has too many leaps of logic and action-movie style silliness to allow me to take it too seriously. It moves with a nice slick pace though and, although I knew where it was going, I still quite enjoyed it as it moved along. Towards the end it starts to get sillier and more unlikely even within its own frame but again it worked at the level I was watching it at (even if it could have been better).

    The cast are so-so for the most part but do OK considering the material and budget. For all his faults, Roberts always gives the impression that he is trying hard, even if he knows the film is weak. He makes a solid leading man here and is good value for this film. Elwes is hardly inspiring but he produces a serviceable villain. Sarandon and Vendora are not used as well as I would have liked, which was a shame as both seemed up for it. Wynter (who I only know from 24) was good enough but severely hampered by the fact that her character made very little sense – she quickly resorts to running, shooting and shouting in favour of anything more interesting to do.

    Overall a so-so sci-fi that I enjoyed even though it gradually loses touch with the interesting material and just becomes a silly action movie towards the end. The cast help cover up the lack of budget but it never really gets above the level of TVM, although it works on that level.
  • I really like the concept of the movie but it was slow wih the story and fast at times when we can't even keep up with the characters. Eric Roberts is a great actor but this one was really out there. The performances are really good and the story was ok but we really end up not caring about the movie or the people in it. I really mean that. Even the special effects could not save it? Oh well... I had high expectations with this flick but no cigar. Oh the story... wait a minute don't really waste your time... If you like Cary Elwes and Eric Roberts see it but if your not a fan of either just rent "The Running Man" with Arnold! Better movie and that's not saying much even though I liked that movie. Out of 4 stars I give it 1 1/2 stars.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, let's start with the most obvious: The concept problem. WHY would legalized suicide mean legalized murder? Obviously any "contract" for voluntary death would become murder if the client was not allowed to change his mind or cancel it. Then there are the multiple opportunities for the chasees to kill the chasers, or vice versa, that they inexplicably pass up. Finally, there's the magic tranference from the truck cab into the elevators which is unseen, unexplained and simply impossible. (Memo to scriptwriters: Just because you choose to ignore a point doesn't mean the viewer will.) On top of that you have bad acting, trite dialog and one-dimensional characters. All told, this film is a steaming pile of dog pooh.
  • Although not a great fan of the genre, I found this futuristic suspense story quite satisfying. Particularly strong was the acting. Standouts include Eric Roberts, as a loving father desperately trying to save his son's life, then caught in the extreme, life-threatening consequences of his choices ; Diane Venora, as a high-level "health-care" corporation executive with a conscience ; and Cary Elwes, in an especially chilling turn, as an enforcer. There are several plot twists that keep the viewer guessing, and the tension in many of the scenes borders on the heart-stopping. There are a number of implausibilities and unlikely coincidences, but the headlong pace of the movie keeps one from dwelling on these. Recommended!
  • Pro Jury25 July 2000
    Eric Roberts is a popular movie actor. He brings extra dimension to the characters he plays.

    In Race Against Time, along with Eric Roberts are many fine actors playing their parts here with all seriousness. The acting is above average and clearly money was spent on the special effects.

    However, this movie is sunk by amaturish direction. Time after time, there is no continuity cutting between camera shots. Such a basic direction blunder is unforgivable.

    In one camera view, a gun barrel is seen being pressed against the side of a person's head -- the pressure of the metal making the skin of the temple wrinkle. Cut to another camera view and the gun holder's arm is fully stretched and the gun barrel is 4 to 6 inches away from the person's head. Cut once more and it touches again.

    One camera view shows Eric Roberts leaning over an 18 inch thick building roof wall with the belt to his pants coming about even to the outer edge. Cut to another camera and his belt is now back even with the inner edge. Back to the first camera and Roberts is again shifted more than a foot. Cut again and ZAP there is another shift back.

    All through this movie people's actions don't connect correctly as camera views change. This is very distracting.

    Another major problem with this movie is a thing that should have been gone with the 1970's. Recall how often the leading man in a '70's action movie with all the world out to kill him would bare-fistedly defeat the first batch of bad guys. They are unconscious at his feet with all their loaded and unused guns spilled on the ground. The leading man has time to say a few words of dramatic dialog then walks away leaving behind all of the best weapons. This is exactly what happens in Race Against Time! This is certainly not a John Woo movie.

    The last major problem is that throughout the first 3/4 of this movie our leading man treats those out to kill him with way too much mercy. Wimpy. Lame.
  • tommyb29 September 2003
    I was a little dubious before I watched this film, as I have been let down by many TV movies in the past. But, as the story opened, I was drawn in and the pace of the film was well balanced. Roberts was a believable and likeable, and Wynter became more attractive as the film went on! Yes, the CGI was a little over done, but all in all considering that this is just a movie for TV, it was a damn sight more entertaining than many modern massive budget films.
  • This is a TNT original made for TV movie. Like "Stiletto Dance" - also starring Roberts, it was filmed in Quebec.

    This is a cool idea, sort of a "Die Hard" meets "The Running Man." Of course, it's not perfect. There are dialogue problems, there are continuity problems, there are acting problems. But hey, it was made for TV.

    It looks futuristic as it is set in 2008. In some ways, I would think it might be a bit advanced for 2008 and in other ways the CHEESY computer graphics and such look right out of the early 1980's. So you have some exceptional work and some that is not good.

    In one case, our main character busts the controls off of an elevator and instantly uses a wire touching a resistor to control the movements of the elevator. A bit too far fetched and this is not the only example of such.

    Also, too much firepower with guys dressed in black uniforms. It becomes mundane when you constantly see black uniformed thugs constantly firing at our hero. C'mon now.

    The basic premise of the movie is a good idea though: Selling your body for cash now and the delivery of body organs later. Unfortunately, this causes your death - and of course, the company that "buys you" intends to collect on what they purchased. That part is interesting.

    So, what can we say for this? Well, it stars Eric Roberts and as far as I am concerned this guy can't really do anything wrong. Even in a bad movie, he makes it good. This guy should be starring in blockbusters as far as I am concerned. His acting and presence in this movie is excellent.

    It's fun to watch and Eric Roberts is in it. Overlook the obvious flaws and it is 90 minutes of entertainment.
  • YogiBeer9 January 2001
    This movie has it all... CGI (but it looks "too CGI"), romance, action (NOT exactly Hong Kong-action but...) and sci-fi (well, as sci-fi as you can get with black motorcycle-helmets and laser-gunsights)...

    Because I'm "euro-trash", I didn't know who Eric Roberts was, but now I do... I'm starting to understand why he is portrayed like he is in the South Park episode "Cartman's Mom Is Still A Dirty Slut"...

    Since I've already bought the movie, I might watch it a couple of times, but on a scale of 1 to 10? 3...
  • Eric Roberts is good and Cary Elwes is devilishly better in an awesome movie called "Race Against Time."

    This is one of the most brilliant movies I have seen. The performances are awesome and best of all it is suspense filled. In addition to the suspense, "Race Against Time" brings non stop, edge of your seat action and drama to a movie that has a star who acts in nothing but action movies.

    I must give praise to the writers and director of "Race Against Time" because they took an awesome script and turned it into a work of art. A man signs his life away to save his son but when he discovers his son is dead, he breaks the agreement and runs for his life. Who wouldn't watch this movie after reading the plot? I know I would watch it.

    The cast is phenomenal in "Race Against Time. Eric Roberts seems to get better and better with each role he takes. Roberts expands his acting skills from action to being a dedicated and caring father. It is always good to see that an actor can be versatile. However, the best actor in this whole movie was the evil Cary Elwes. Elwes is the ultimate bad guy and he portrays the villain never well. I wish I never got on the wrong side of Mr. Elwes. Besides Elwes, the climax of this film makes this film so good.

    "Race Against Time" is a heart-pumping, heart-warming, suspenseful and edge of your seat thriller that will involve you from start to finish. If you enjoy Eric Roberts you will enjoy "Race Against Time." THUMBS WAY UP.
  • When I sat down to watch 'Race Against Time' the other day I was not really sure what I was going to get on screen. Even though I had read all the plot summaries, I was unsure of how it would all look and play out in front of me, but I was pleasantly surprised. Although not a big box-office number like 'The Matrix' it has similar qualities that better suit it for small screen. Featuring a concept that is not too hard to imagine ever happening, the film portrays the loving relationship between father and son and a romantic strand which plays out against the main action-packed storyline. There are great performances from all cast and a good script.
  • Speaking of continuity problems (see the "amazing sliding gun barrel" comment), how did Gabriel and Alex get from the tracker car to the elevator? Poof, molecular transport?

    Also, concerning the risky high iron work in the beginning, I know the foreman says there aint no unions and their aint no unemployment, but there aint no Fed OSHA either?!? Now that's real fiction.