The Belko Experiment (2017)

Photo courtesy of: teaser-trailer.com

“Normal people don’t work at Belko,” says one of many abnormal characters who work for the said non-profit organisation whose job it is to facilitate US companies in South America in hiring US workers and whose vacuous mottoes emblazoned across the boardroom and reception area read like slogans from the side of Boris Johnson’s Vote Leave battle bus: “Business without boundaries” not to be outdone by “Bringing the world together”.

But as the eighty caffeine-fuelled suits clock-in to the tune of I Will Survive (the soundtrack by composer Tyler Bates being one of the film’s few redeeming features), “same shit, different day” turns into “weird shit, last day on earth” because metal panels block out the sun, mobile phone signals go awry and a gravelly voice over a loud speaker puts the fear of God into all who listen. The gist of which is: you must murder two of your colleagues within the next half hour; if not, there will be “repercussions”. Followed by: 30 must die in the next two hours, otherwise we’ll kill 60. And so on and so forth.

Needless to say, bloodshed ensues. The premise of which by writer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) is spelled out in the following realisation by one of the walking clichés who double as plot-propulsion devices: “It’s human nature at the end of the day: people are out for themselves.” The characters are cartoonish, the dialogue is corny as hell and some of the performances make Big Arnie look Shakespearean.

That said, there is enough in the score to raise a smile and the lead performers do just enough to hold our attention, particularly John Gallagher Jr. as the goodie two-shoes Mike Milch and Tony Goldwyn as the boo-hiss baddie Barry Norris. The standout sequence of multiple head explosions underscored by a piece of classical music reminiscent of a similar scene in Kingsman: The Secret Service. But all in all: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!

Video courtesy of: James Gunn

The Belko Experiment (2016)
The Belko Experiment poster Rating: 6.5/10 (2,199 votes)
Director: Greg McLean
Writer: James Gunn
Stars: John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley
Runtime: 89 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
Released: 17 Mar 2017
Plot: 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.
Peter Callaghan

Peter Callaghan

Writer at reviewsphere
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Dramatic Studies graduate, actor, writer and drama workshop leader. As well as a performance poet and corporate roleplayer.
Peter Callaghan

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