Punishment Revisited: Running Wild

Note: If I stand for anything, it's consistency.  If I'm asleep, I will snore.  If I'm eating chips, I'll get crumbs all over my shirt.  See?  Consistency is the name of the game.  Speaking of games and consistency, The Summer Box Office Challenge has officially concluded.  Of course, like every time before, I lost... not because I suck at this, but because I know how important consistency is.

This means that three punishment movies will be chosen for me to watch and review for the site.  I do not yet know what they will be, but I'm sure I will have some multimedia headaches coming in the near future.  I decided to repost reviews from the last time this happened, which was a few years ago on account of the Covid making a mess of the summer release schedule and eliminating the option for such a game.

This review is for Running Wild, and I am posting it exactly as had been written.  Apparently I disliked this movie so much that I chose to not even proof read my review.  Here it is, in all of its painful glory:

 I didn't pick this film for myself.  Once again, a movie that I have to see as punishment for my lack of skill at guessing numbers.  This time, it wasn't the nefarious Christopher Spicer selecting the form of 'The Traveller,' but rather his son, who it turns out can be equally nefarious.  I have made it known that I don't really care for horse movies.  That's because I really don't care for horses.  I don't see them as majestic, but rather four legged factories of nostril discontent.  When a movie seems to assume that me as the audience will bond with an animal and cry at the end when it's often put down, I don't get invested.  There have, however, been some horse movies that I've really loved.  Both Lean On Pete, and The Rider came out a few years ago and won me over, to the point of putting The Rider as one of my favourites of 2018.

Running Wild is pretty much Hallmark territory, which pretty much means it's going to go after that assumed sentimentality towards equine plots.  The level of steady hand around the plot was not there.  Horses are majestic, there are wild ones, and don't we really need to see all the horses on the planet being healthy and saddled?  That's kind of the plot.  There is a rancher who's idiot husband dies, leaving her in debt, and she comes across wild horses that got into her ranch.  Cool.  Nurse them to health, the collective audience screams!  Not cool, though.  Sharon Stone plays a rich lady who for some totally unknown reason has a real bridle in her craw when it comes to wild horses getting medical attention.  So, we have a plot.  I guess.

Stone's character (who shall remain unnamed for now because I can't be bothered switching over to IMDB) just can't stop despising people who do something nice for wild horses.  She's in the camp that they should be moved to her huge sanctuary where they can run free (but also be susceptible to dying from pustular infections).  Director Alex Ranarivelo makes the social climate in the film as one where people are so wound up over what happens to wild horses that they go out and protest and get all up in the press to get their thoughts out there.

Is this really a thing?  Maybe.  It doesn't seem legit to me, though.  That's probably in how it's portrayed.  Movies can make me accept anything from a beloved McDonalds character snapping his fingers and destroying half of all life in the universe to believing that kids can take out monsters by forming a squad.  I'll buy anything if it's presented properly.  Movies are about taking us somewhere, so I'm prepared to go.  In cases like this, I am not convinced.  That comes down to many things, most notably the writing and directing.

I will admit that this is one of the few films that really showed me the connection between people and horses.  This didn't come from either the protagonist or the antagonist, but rather from criminals who had a work program that allowed them to tend to the horses.  The scenes were all cheesy, yet something crept through that gave me a hint of that connection.  Most Hallmarkish films of this nature just rely on you already feeling that way.

This really shouldn't be seen if you're like me.  Or if you are just the kind of person that likes a less than flimsy plot.  There are people who will enjoy it, and I won't fault them.  Different people, different tastes.  When you're someone who doesn't really care about the difference between a horse and a cephalopod, there isn't any kind of bridge that's created to bring you in.  Watch Lean on Pete or The Rider, and you'll have a better experience. 

Rating - 1 out of 4 stars

Note - this hasn't been proofread because I'm done with Running Wild