The Belko Experiment – Film Review

Rating : 2 / 5 stars

What’s it about?
The Belko Experiment is a thriller directed by Greg McLean and written by James Gunn starring an ensemble cast including Sean Gunn, Tony Goldwyn and John C. McGinley among others

Set in the outskirts of Bogota, the film follows the fate of the employees of Belko Industries as they get locked in their office premises followed by an announcement instructing them to kill each other off until only one person survives. Failure to comply will reult in the death of all the employees.This announcement is initially treated as a prank by the employees, but when people start to die, the gravity of the situation starts to sink in and this sets off events that will test friendships and push people to do what the never thought they were capable of doing.
Who has locked them in? How do these people manage to get out of this situation? these are some of the questions that the film tries to tackle.

What’s Good?
The premise of the film is interesting as it had a lot of potential to be a character study as to why people choose to do what they do when their backs are against the wall. Till about halfway through the film, the characters feel like real people and react to the situation like real people would. The first act brings a certain sense of unease and intrigue to the proceedings and this makes the viewer invest in the film. Thankfully the film moves along at a crisp rate and does not let the attention of the viewer wander too many times.

What’s Not?
The films has a very direct-to-TV movie kind of vibe to it. There is no explanation provided for the events that happen in the film which makes it an open ended film and can frustrate certain viewers. Coming from James Gunn, the writer and director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, this film is underwhelming. About halfway into the film, the characters turn into caricatures and the third act is almost like a slasher film with the screenplay trying to find innovative ways for the cast to die, thus robbing the film of the intrigue setup in the first act of the film.

Performances
This is a group exercise and no single actor gets an opportunity to shine. But this works in the favor of the film as the focus is rightly on the group dynamics and the action sequences and not any individual performer. Having said that, Sean Gunn, John C McGinley and Tony Goldwyn probably make the most of their characters and bring some amount of distinction and individuality to their characters. Rest of the cast do not have much to do and are pretty average in their respective roles.

Final Word
A decent thriller that keeps you mildly entertained through its runtime, This film is a good watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.


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