Star Rating:

Beyond The Reach

Director: Jean-Baptiste Leonetti

Actors: Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Jeremy Irvine, Ronny Cox

Release Date: Friday 31st July 2015

Running time: 91 minutes

And it all started so well...

Michael Douglas’ super-rich businessman arrives in a small town on the edge of the Mojave Desert looking for a hunting guide. He bribes the local sheriff (Cox) to let him hunt without a permit and employs Jeremy Irvine, hurting that girlfriend (Mangan Lawrence) has left for college, to lead him into the desert. They take Douglas’ souped up Hummer, a one-of-a-kind with a microwave and coffee maker and everything, and go off map.

That’s not bad.

When Douglas accidentally shoots dead a hermit he fears the scandal will hinder a major ongoing business deal: thinking fast, he picks up Irvine’s rifle and puts another bullet in the dead man, implicating Irvine in the murder. He promises Irvine hefty compensation for his silence and, with little choice stranded in the middle of nowhere, Irvine agrees.

That’s not bad too.

Through one thing and another the shaky alliance falls apart and Douglas sets out to kill Irvine - not by shooting him, but by forcing him into the desert and watching the harsh elements assassinate him naturally. But Irvine knows the terrain and uses it to elude his would-be killer.

A bit far-fetched that but okay.

Then Beyond The Reach, a remake of 1974 TV movie Savages, falls apart. Not all at once - slowly, over the course of the remaining hour, as preposterous developments and hokey characterisations take hold. It’s not long before Douglas turns psycho, sipping martinis (!?!) and taunting Irvine by bullhorn (yes, the Hummer has one of those built in too). By the time Douglas bellows, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I KILL YOU!!!!" there’s no hope for the film, the ozone, or the future.

Then it gets worse.

It would be unfair to get into how bad Beyond The Reach gets - if one trundles along to see it despite the above review it would spoil the laughs one could enjoy. It’s such a shame too after an intriguing and lean set up.

"I KILL YOU!!!!"