“Run the Race” is a corny movie about high school football that is produced by Tim Tebow and filled with bad acting and exhausting tropes.
It’s a dramatic, faith-based film with good intentions, but it fails in so many regards. Everything about the film is predictable, starting with how the film focuses on a Southern, white, middle-class high school football player. The story of two brothers’ relationship with their father following the death of their mom is also overdone.
It seemed like the actors were unsure of what movie they were in at times. This could have been a problem with the script or editing, but the entire movie felt confused. The brothers could not pull off a serious scene, and it felt robotic when Zach reacted to his brother having a seizure.
An issue that often comes up in movies set in high school is that it is obvious the people who made the movie have not been in high school for at least a decade. “Run the Race” has that issue with its cringey, forced few lines of dialogue about Facebook from the coach. Not only that, but the actors all seem way too old for the parts they are playing.
The main character Zach curiously hops in the pickup truck of a strange man who is even older than him and they head to a party full of “high schoolers.” This scene was just so convenient and acts like random 30-year-olds are going to be picking up high schoolers off the road and taking them to parties in the middle of the day with no questions asked.
“Run the Race” has many convenient moments that make the movie feel exhausting. The two brothers, Zach and Dave, have so many traumatic experiences happen to them in the span of 100 minutes to the point that it is completely unfathomable. Like oh, of course the brother who is going to state for track dies of a seizure the day before the big race.
It is hard to be sad for these characters when these events happen because it is so melodramatic and unbelievable. The movie starts off believable: alcoholic dad and a dead mom with two athlete kids. However, the longer the movie goes on, it seems the writers keep adding conflict without truly resolving anything.
One example of this film doing too much is the scene where the brothers bring flowers to their mom’s grave and find their dad asleep with a beer in the cemetery. The film already established the dad as an alcoholic, so this scene felt unnecessary and unrealistic. There is no imaginable reality in which all these moments would occur.
The way this movie treats the death of the brother who has seizures is incredibly odd and light. After building up the brothers’ relationship throughout the movie and attempting to make the viewer care about Dave’s seizures, “Run the Race” acts like this is just another day in the crisis-filled life of Zach. The scene in which Zach questioned his faith at the dinner table was treated with more sincerity than Dave’s death.
Part of the confusion surrounding the movie is that the script does not even know what it is trying to be. While there are these traumatic events put to the tune of soft rock Christian music, there are also quite a few jokes. They might not be funny, but they were definitely written out to be jokes.
The unfunny jokes about running track also emphasized the strange pacing of the movie. In just one scene “Run the Race” will deliver a sermon, tell a Laffy Taffy joke and throw a life-altering crisis at the main character. Part of the unrealistic aspect of this film is how these high school brothers are fully capable of living by themselves and taking care of themselves.
It is no shock that Tim Tebow would want to attach his name to a faith-based film about high school brothers who play football. “Run the Race” is an incredibly predictable film that does too much without the actors really doing anything. While “Run the Race” was created with the purpose to inspire, it is a bore.