Stay Alive

Malcolm may be getting sick of being in the ‘Middle’, but how Frankie Muniz’s request for a transfer has backfired – he’s now on the bottom


Frankie Muniz, Adam Goldberg, Samaire Armstrong, Jon Foster, Jimmi Simpson, Milo Ventimiglia, Sophia Bush

Or should it be “Stay Awake”?

Malcolm may be getting sick of being in the ‘Middle’, but how Frankie Muniz’s request for a transfer has backfired – he’s now on the bottom.

Now and then, a terrible little pic with nothing very redeeming in it, sneaks past the film board and gets a fleeting look at the cinema auditorium before making the quick route to Blockbuster– “Stay Alive” is such a film. Essentially made – I’m guessing – because Frankie Muniz and Adam Goldberg became attached to the picture – despite the fact that they’re not playing the leads – and therefore consequently guaranteed of a cinema release, it’s Z-grade entertainment with luck on its side, but nothing in its hide.

Riding on the coattails of more successful high-concept teen slasher flicks – like “I Know hat You Did Last Summer”, “Urban Legend” and, to quote a more recent example, “Final Destination” – it’s a one-note offering that’s all concept, no creation.

A bunch of kids start playing a video game (called ‘Stay Alive’) in which they soon discover – very unconvicingly, because it doesn’t take anything for them to swallow that their friends are dying at the hands of a video game – is playing them. Yep, one by one the villain of the game is killing them all off.

If you can stay awake throughout the whole thing, you’ll notice some rather impressive computer graphics, but for a quarter, you can see that at your local arcade. And hey? Didn’t I see this back in 1994, under the title “Brainscan”? Or was it in 2002, as “Long Time Dead”?

Time to stop making movies based on ideas, and wait it out till the first draft of the script is at least finished to see whether it’s worth doing.

Game Over.

Rating:
Reviewer : Clint Morris