Red Machine (Into the Grizzly Maze) (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Thriller, Survival
Director: David Hackl
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 94 min

Red Machine (Into the Grizzly Maze) (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Concept, Acting performances, Huge bear
Bad: Somewhat shoddy visuals at times, Rather bland, Slow pace
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (2 votes cast)

We’ve seen it all in movies, killer sharks, piranhas, a tornado filled with sharks, Godzilla rampaging through the streets and even killer tomatoes. However It seemed we forgot one of the most fearsome animals in the animal kingdom, namely the grizzly bear. Every year people still fall prey to this majestic predator, out of bear necessities, it could still make a fairly decent plot for a movie. Place an angry, larger than normal bear in the woods, with some poorly armed people and you’ve got yourself a nasty predicament. We just hoped we could bear with the brutal murdering spree of this creature.


Rowan (James Marsden) is just released from prison and hardly has any friends left, even his family didn’t care about him while he was serving his time, not even knowing precisely what happened. Nonetheless, when one of his last friends asks him to find back her husband in Rowan’s hometown, he can’t refuse and decides to head back home. Even though Rowan wanted to lay low, he is immediately dragged in an unpleasant situation, where he has to teach someone a ‘lesson’. Thus it only takes mere seconds before the police arrives on scene (best damn cops in the world) and Rowan gets reunited with his brother, Beckett (Thomas Jane), who became the man in blue himself.

After some bickering on the way ‘home’, it’s clear that Rowan wants to hurry up and tend to his business, as he notices that his welcome isn’t going all that smooth, as expected. In the meanwhile, Johnny Cadillac (Adam Beach), Rowan’s target, is hanging out with two poachers, who are exaggerating with their bear hunt, shooting many more than they are allowed to. When Johnny complains about it, his ‘colleagues’ shoot him, but he still tries to run away. Sadly, it seems the forest is not only filled with the poachers, but a raging giant grizzly bear as well. Soon more bodies will be found and with Rowan, Kaley (Michaela McManus) , Beckett and Beckett’s wife Michelle (Piper Perabo), together in the woods soon after these events, things aren’t looking quite well for them.


The flow of the movie is actually a lot slower than expected. One would expect this movie would be one brutal scene after another, with a welcome pause now and then, but in reality, it’s more of a very long buildup towards a rather grand finale. Even though this works, to a certain extent, the movie could have done better with a tad more action, given the topic of the movie. There aren’t really that many suspenseful scenes in the movie either, even though it’s classified as a thriller.

Red Machine does have a few impressive feats, namely the bear that they used throughout the movie. It’s always quite impressive to work with animals in such a fashion, especially an animal that normally roams in the wild. Nonetheless, as impressive as this is at certain times, it’s also flawed at other moments, where it’s clear they pasted the bear in front of a background or next to the actors, making it lose its sense of realism.

With a great lineup of actors/actresses in the movie it’s sad they aren’t completely used to show their abilities, as the movie hardly makes room for character development or is rather bland and less action packed as it could have been. Nonetheless, the acting performances are quite good, and adding extra cast members such as Billy Bob Thornton creates a certain extra value.


Sadly, even though the movie doesn’t have that much going for it, it doesn’t have any extras either. It would have been quite amusing to see how they created the movie with the bear ‘in the lead’, or show how certain special effects were done. We end up with just a few trailers for other movies and that’s pretty much it.


Red Machine is a bearable experience, with some finer moments scattered throughout the otherwise rather bland experience. The top cast and some of the gruesome scenes will make you overlook some of its flaws, but not all. Nonetheless, this is one of those movies that will offer a decent amount of entertainment value once, to be forgotten into the grizzly maze of your mind later.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Red Machine (Into the Grizzly Maze) (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 3.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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