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1.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Man Vs.
Written by
Thomas Michael
Directed by
Adam Massey
Starring
Chris Diamantopoulos
Classification
14A
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2015

Cocky television survival guy Doug is dropped off in the remote woods of the Canadian Shield with camera equipment and his own outdoorsy skills – we see him skin a rabbit with ease. But then man vs. nature becomes man vs. "what the heck?" and a movie that began in the reality-show/found-footage realm moves to Predator-style kicks.

Will Doug survive? Will mankind survive? Will the suspense last 87 minutes? Plot-preserving decorum prevents the answering of the first two questions, but the filmgoer should know that Man Vs. is as low in ideas as it is in budget, and that although actor Chris Diamantopoulos handles the cat-turned-mouse lead role with flair to spare, and while the film's woodsy frights build competently, director Adam Massey's lack of finesse prevents the viewer's imagination from running as wild as need be.

On the technical side, the location photography is splendid, but the late-in-film special effects are unfortunate. Filmmaker vs. modest budget is not a game for the inflexible auteur; surely there is more than one way to skin that rabbit.

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