In order to transport drugs, two dealers employ the services of local track athletes, but their coach stands in the way. We review the independent feature film Runners.
Money can make people do stupid things. Take T (Hector Cruz) for example; he saw what drugs did to his family and should have stayed a million miles away from the nearest pusher, but the thought of having forty bucks in his back pocket drove him to do something he normally wouldn’t have done.
T is a good runner, so the local drug dealers decide to take advantage of that by using him to transport drugs hidden in batons – the type you see used in relay races. Obviously this doesn’t go down well with his mother, his friend Shannon (Cecilia Youkhana) and her track coach Archie Miles (Jerome V. Green) who all try and steer him away from such dangerous and criminal activities.
Set in the suburbs of a city; which is eerily similar to that of San Andreas (from the video game Grand Theft Auto), Runners has a good sense of realism to it. You feel that this could and probably is, going on somewhere in America right now, which is actually really sad.
Directed by Jerome V. Green, Runners is actually a polished low-budget movie. It’s pretty easy to see that a lot of effort and hard work went into the creation of the movie. The budget was reportedly $60,000 which may sound a lot, and it is compared to forty bucks, but it is nothing when it comes to making a feature film. So to create something that has good production value and even decent visual effects (though sparsely used of course), Green and his crew have certainly done really well.
The cinematography is well executed for the most part, with Green and cinematographer John Foley taking advantage of dollies, steadicams and drones they had at hand. I was actually taken aback by how nice many of the shots where.
The sound of Runners was nice and crisp, with a decent soundtrack added in for good measure. The hip-hop music suited the story and set up the vibe nicely.
Runners also has many decent performances from the actors involved, including actor/director Jerome V. Green as Coach Miles, who is believable as the big-hearted track teacher. It was also good to see Jonathon Booker (Silver Woods) as the muscle for gang leader Luke (Steven Centers). The stand-out performance for me though was from Cecilia Youkhana as Shannon. It’s hard to believe that (according to IMDB) Runners is only her second film. Youkhana brings a natural and heartfelt performance that you would only expect from an actor with more experience. She could very well be someone to watch.
Overall, Runners is a well-made film created by some talented people. I shall be eagerly looking out for their future work.