'The Belko Experiment' is fun, but not extraordinary

By: DS

The official synopsis of the movie reads, In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company's intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.

According to the film's synopsis and its trailer, I was actually expecting something like Saw or The Hunger Games -- kinda edge of the seat movie. But where it fails is in its originality. The Battle Royale (Japanese) formula has been done time and time again, and here we get the straightest form of it, with zero deviation from the norm and zero unique perspective.

The whole set up for the movie had a somewhat interesting concept. What do people do when they are trapped in a situation where the only way out is to kill others? I will not agree to this one as a completely original idea, but it had some potential to be thought provoking if there is some kind of message it is trying to send, or some aspect of society it is trying to satirize. The killings and the bloodbath are well executed, if you are into seeing how some office workers murder each other.

Once the killings end though, ultimately there was nothing there! No deep thoughts. No important message. No point at all, really. The closest thing I can up with for meaning in the movie is that in the end, they basically admit there was no real reason for the experiment to be conducted in first place. And so conducting cruel experiments without a purpose is a bad thing.

The moment chaos ensues, different people react in different ways. It's sort of like the Walking Dead in that sense, but the Walking Dead has time to develop its themes and characters long enough for you to extract some meaning. In a sense, the pointlessness of the experiment and the killing is reflected in the pointlessness of the movie itself.

The ending of this film is different. It didn't really set up the ending all that well and left the audience wanting something a bit more. It didn't ruin the fun of the movie but with a better ending it could have been a lot better. For a movie to me great it needs to have an ending that leaves the audience satisfied and this movie has trouble doing that.

The performances from everyone are entertaining and believable, many performances being especially good. The lighting and cinematography add a lot to the overall tone of the film which makes it a lot more effective.

The Belko Experiment is a not that 'Extra Ordinary' thriller film that builds up the suspense and its violent sequences of seeing people kill each other. The plot does not build anything new, and the action can be repetitive.

If you want to see the ideas this movie brings up actually addressed in a thought provoking way, maybe try The Hunger Games, or Battle Royale. This was a fun little film that ultimately means very little.

Directed by: Greg McLean

Official Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZNfwayNLL0


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