Range Runners may start out as the typical “I was never good enough, so I have to push myself to extreme limits and maybe have daddy issues” but take a long deep breath because you are really in for so much more, as you watch endurance runner Mel (Celeste M. Cooper) take on the ultimate challenge of what it truly means to survive.
Wayland and Jared, two peculiar pseudo-hikers, played by Sean Patrick Leonard and Michael B Woods, conveniently encounter Mel while she is on her running journey. They end up capturing her, and I use that term loosely because although she is tied up like a hog and treated like a piece of meat, reluctantly by one of them, the men underestimate what this woman is capable of and as a viewer looking at the screen, so do we.
The film doesn’t hold back with the amount of violence and brutality. There are some really disturbing and shocking moments. You can see the emotions pour out, both with the flashbacks of young Mel (Mariah Gordon), and swooped back to adult Mel. As every tear falls, she fights that vulnerability, as there is no place for weakness. She remains fierce and ready to fight with every core of her being, or will die trying.
My only real criticism of the film is towards the end, which I won’t spoil, but this “twist” is too obvious and I think puts a damper on the intensity and thrill of what the film initially set out to be.
Overall, a very riveting performance by Celeste Cooper and as singer Katy Perry once said, “I am the champion, and you’re going to hear me roar.”