Who could have guessed that 35 years after the release of Die Hard we would still be getting movies following the same template? The 90s saw an explosion of clones that seemed to cool off by the end of the decade. Since then Die Hard clones are released occasionally. Often in the form of a spoof/comedy or a low budget straight to video release. As a Die Hard aficionado I just have to watch all of these movies. But with many titles releasing to little or no fanfare, it’s easy to miss out on one. Like I did with with 2020’s Run Hide Fight.
Run Hide Fight is Die Hard in a school. A similar concept as seen in Toy Soldiers, Masterminds and Detention. The key difference is that all of those movies were released at a time when school shootings were not happening every other week and the villains were actual terrorists instead of disgruntled students. Run Hide Fight is the grittiest Die Hard in a school to date.
Run Hide Fight revolves around the 17-year-old Zoe Hull (Isabel May) who is dealing with the loss of her mother to cancer. She lives alone with her father (Thomas Jane), a former US Army sniper, who teaches her to shoot a deer in the opening scene of the movie. A clear set-up for later. She’s a bit of a loner save for her one black friend Lewis (Olly Sholotan). It’s Senior prank day which means there are plenty of shenanigans going on at Vernon High School, like the teacher’s lounge being filled from floor to ceiling with balloons.
Things suddenly take a turn for the worst as a couple of students ram a van into the cafeteria and start shooting students and teachers right away. As these Die Hard movies go, Zoe manages to get away, but instead of trying to reach safety she tries to save as many students as possible putting her into the crosshairs of the villains.
Run Hide Fight is the first movie produced by The Daily Wire. The right-wing website run by Ben Shapiro. Knowing this one forehand I was pretty focused on conservative political views being pushed upon the viewer. While they are very much there, there not as overtly in your face as one would expect. The main villain Tristan Voy is a bi-sexual man who is in a relationship with the mentally ill Chris, as well as Chris’ sister Anna. On the other hand, the two main characters are a strong white woman and a wussy black guy. Not the leads one would expect in a movie released by a studio with a right wing political view.
Tristan, a creation of this time, is obsessed with live streaming everything to the outside world. He even commands the student with the most views on his live feed to become his personal cameraman. A choice obviously inspired by the live-streams of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
The movie itself it captivating and much better than I expected it to be. It surely is one of the grittiest Die Hard clones so there is little room for one-liners and fun little action scenes. And it works in this day and age of regular school shootings.
But the movie is also full of plot-holes. Zoe can go in and out of the school on multiple occasions. She’s able to put a lot of fellow students into the safe arms of first responders. Yet she constantly goes back into the school again while the bad guys are oblivious to this. And yet at no point do the police the same thing. They just keep their perimeter until the final act letting Zoe do all the work.
Having seen my fair share of terrible direct to video Die Hard clones, Run Hide Fight actually is one of the better ones. Sure it’s a low budget action movie made in the age of streaming. There isn’t a high budget involved here as most of the movie takes place in one location and the movie doesn’t have Zoey strap herself to a fire hose and jumping off the roof after blowing up a helicopter. The biggest pyrotechnic event in this movie is a van being blown up. Something that will wow no one.
If you like Die Hard clones then you should definitely give Run Hide Fight a chance. It’s even a decent time-killer for the non Die Hard aficionado out there.