“Ride For Your Life”: Interactive `Ride’ for Rebels Without a Cause

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
May 5, 1995

Nash Jones (portrayed by Matthew Lillard)
Danny Deale (Tyrone Henderson)
Monty Oliver (Adam West)
Gus Sharpe (Betty Buckley)

Written and directed by Bob Bejan. Running time: 20-23 minutes. Rated PG (brief incidents of mild violence and language).
Opening Friday at Sony Theatres-Rolling Meadows.

 

This is the first time I’ve ever prefaced a film review with this tip: Trim your nails before going to see “Ride For Your Life.”  The interactive film is boring to watch but fun to participate in.

Via a panel with three buttons (green, orange and red) that is next to every seat, viewers participate in the outcome of the plot. Suffice it to say that “Ride For Your Life” has to do with aliens, bike messengers and Batman. OK, so it’s really not Batman, but Adam West who played the caped crusader on the TV series.  But he still looks and sounds like Batman.

About every couple minutes, lights flash on the screen and viewers are asked to select which path they’d like their on-screen heroes to take.  To help the young audience this film is aimed at, the choices are color-coded to match the buttons on the panel.

The audience I screened the film with was young, indeed.  At one point, it was given the task of choosing to “help mom” or “rebel.” They shouted out rebel – but pronounced it as the noun instead of the verb.  But enough of them had pushed the latter button for the on-screen heroine to rebel against her mom.

The film leaves a lot of unanswered questions, such as how exactly are the bicyclists helping save the Earth by participating in this race?  Who are the villains – the aliens or the humans?  And perhaps most importantly, what the heck is talk show host Jon Stewart doing in this movie?

The film ranges from 20 to 23 minutes, depending on which plot choices the audience makes.  It’s a silly and stupid little project that can truly be appreciated only by the 12-and-under set.

But having said that, I will admit that I left the theater with sore arms (yes, I cheated – I used both hands to punch buttons) and a victorious feeling because the racer I had rooted for won.

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