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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

BFE Pit Stop

Downrange on IMDb

Plot Overview

College News

Six college age kids on a carefree junket have a blowout on a remote stretch of highway. Todd Acosta (Rod Hernandez) and his girl­friend Sarah Fletcher (Alexa Yeames) are a couple at loose ends. Keren (Stephanie Pearson) is an army brat. Jodi (Kelly Connaire) is the emotional one. Jeff (Jason Tobias) is the he-man changing the tire. And Eric (Anthony Kirlew) is black.

box turtlewolfThey find them­selves pinned down by a determined sniper for reasons unknown except since he shot one of each sex, at least he's not a sexual pervert. The three whites take cover behind Todd's SUV and the black behind a convenient tree root clump, self-segregating them­selves in back of separate but equal barriers. After the former three drink up from the water bottle, they toss what's left to the black minority, separate drinking fountains, too. The sniper (Aion Boyd) takes his time having set up in advance a cozy sniper's nest and using for his spotter an old marauding wolf. He seems intent on boosting his score like the ending to the “Happy Birthday” song sung for Jodi's sister Stephanie: “And many more,” whom she's traveling to visit.

The whites' plan is to slip the SUV into neutral and shove it back three feet to a sweet spot where there's cell phone reception, but the driver would be momen­tarily exposed to gun fire. The black thinks they're going to leave him but if that happens they say they'll send back help. He suggests they all break cover at the same time and run for the hills; the guy can't hit them all. Yet he's pretty good—he hit a moving tire—so he'd hit some.


Of course, even on this godforsaken highway, someone is bound to come along eventually and see the two bodies lying there, but then what? Alert the local sheriff, but does he have enough fire­power to neutralize the threat? Maybe he can bring in the staties, but a well entrenched, camou­flaged sniper with a scoped and reliable bolt-action rifle and a clear field of vision over all the surrounding scrub­land would be hard to take down.

Before they realized their dire situation Jodi cracked, “How many SW majors does it take to change a situation?” The answer, “Why should it change! Maybe it's our perspective that should change.” Perhaps this is not the kind of movie where there's going to be any kind of rescue, but the protagonists all die, along the lines of William Thackeray's poem, Timbuctoo:

foraging crowIn Africa (a quarter of the world)
Men's skins are black, their hair is crisp and curled
And somewhere there unknown to public view
A mighty city lies called Timbuctoo
There stalks the tiger, there the lion roars
Who sometimes eats the luckless blackamoors
All that he leaves of them the monster throws
To jackal, vultures, dogs, cats, kites and crows (27)

The backstory we can piece together thus: Todd and Sarah had a falling out with their parents. They ran off together, and now they're distancing them­selves from them. Although they'd been careful Sarah fell pregnant. Todd accepted his pending father role by selling his bike, his car, and purchasing “this piece of sh!t [Ford Escalade], baby seat, crib, … went all out.” Sarah had a miscarriage and Todd was stuck financially. To manage they'd taken on paying riders for an excursion in their SUV that seated six. They adjusted their itinerary to accommodate them all. That's how they ended up on this deserted rural road where they fell prey to a sniper, and we see the dead bodies ravaged by yellow jackets, crows, and wolf eventually.

owl and eyeThey'd put themselves in jeopardy according to, (Prov. 30:17) “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” Approving parents would bless a happy union especially if a wedding came before making babies. They or their friends would provide baby seat, crib, and other stuff no longer used by its owners. As an example take this excerpt from John Fowles:

He had had an affair with one of his third-year students that had rapidly become the real thing. They married and bought, with parental help, a house in Black­heath. David had decided to try his luck at living by his own painting alone. But the arrival of Alexandra, the first of his two small daughters, and various other things drove him to look for extra income. (15)

Todd and Sarah in their parental good graces wouldn't have found them­selves in their current plight where we see a crow plucking out Sarah's eye­ball. Breaking from one's parents dis­con­nects one from society and leaves her vulnerable not only to wild beasts but also to skit­tish birds if there's no-one around to shoo them away.

Production Values

“Downrange” (2017) was directed by Ryûhei Kitamura who wrote its screenplay with Joey O'Bryan. It stars Kelly Connaire, Stephanie Pearson and Rod Hernandez. Theirs are not academy award performances, to be sure, but they and the rest played their fun-turned-frightened parts to a tee.

It's not rated in the U.S. but in the United Kingdom it's an 18. It has good camera work making do with limited sets. The background music is appropriately suspenseful. It was filmed in Lebec, California, USA. Run­time is 1½ hours. I rented my DVD from a convenient Redbox.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

The writers/director deliberately chose a story that would frighten the average joe, and we are quickly drawn into it. As such the adage, “there are no atheists in a foxhole” would apply inclining the viewer to better hope in God.

It was well made and the running commentary by the army brat familiar with guns only enhanced our appreciation of it. It goes with­out saying that there is no way this one can have a happy ending.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Fowles, John. The Ebony Tower. Copy­right © 1974 by J.R. Fowles Limited. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1974. First Edition. Print.

Thackeray, William Makepeace. Memoirs of a Victorian Gentleman. Copyright © 1978 by editor Margaret Forster. London: Martin Seckler & Warburg Limited, 1978. Print.