Ride For Your Life

on January 01, 1995 by Ann Kwinn
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   "Ride for Your Life" is the third interactive movie created by Interfilm (now reorganizing and in the midst of a legal spat with Sony Corp.). These so-called movieGames are shown in theatres specially outfitted with three-button pistol grips that allow viewers to make plot choices at key decision points.
   "Ride for Your Life" is about a race between two New York bike messengers, one of whom represents another planet that will take control of Earth if its side wins. (How winning the bike race allows the aliens to take over the world couldn't be explained at one screening even by an audience member who had already seen the program several times.) Adam West (TV's "Batman") plays the head of the alien front, a conglomerate called Big Corp. The audience loses points for doing naughty things like making the bike riders crash, stealing their packages and assisting the aliens; points are gained for advancing the plot and displaying loyalty to a particular rider. Because one is on the aliens' side, however, audiences will be likely to vote against him. The last choice point is prolonged and encourages the audience to gain points by furiously clicking and re-clicking their buttons--probably not recommended for carpel tunnel syndrome sufferers, but it is fun. Pacing is quick, with the race providing quite a bit of action. Attractive graphic overlays, changing musical cues and a high degree of interaction add to the game-like traits of the program. Plus, the creators have the good sense to show different sequences based on the different choices.
   Interfilm describes the movie as being "for a generation reared on videogames, computers and remote controls." Despite infrequent confusion, which was voiced even by Interfilm's own ushers (who wondered aloud if the maps shown on screen were a clue as to how to navigate the bike race), children and adolescents will probably enjoy the show.
Starring Adam West and Betty Buckley
Directed and written by Bob Bejan
Produced by William Franzblau
An Interfilm release. Interactive.
Rated PG for brief incidents of mild violence and language
Running time: 30 min
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