Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 8 minutes
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Cinematic tales of robberies gone wrong are certainly nothing new but writer/director/editor JohnMark Triplett takes a fairly common plot line and gives it a clever twist in the short film “Red-Handed.” While I enjoyed this short and found it extremely well made, the lack of a solid story left me wanting more, which I suspect is the goal of the film.
In “Red-Handed” we meet two brothers staking out a wealthy mansion. One brother is hesitant about the job but his big brother assures him the heist will be a “cake walk.” Famous last words as sure enough things go awry; genres meld together cleverly in ways I didn’t see coming. Triplett chooses to tell the story somewhat out of sequence, which is fine, but an opportunity to build suspense is naturally lost when you flash-forward straight into action.
While I feel the film may have lost its chance to build a suspenseful story for the sake of brevity, I also admired the way the filmmaker got right down to business. There’s hardly any exposition in this film at all, but in a good way. When characters and relationships are explained, it’s quick and to the point. Short filmmakers should take note at how Triplett condenses plot through simple yet effective scripting and smart editing. Triplett knows what he’s doing and this is a good showcase for his skills.
That being said, this film feels to me like either a director’s “sizzle reel” or a short made in attempt to get attention in order to make it feature length. I have no issue with filmmakers doing these things and think they’re a smart move. But if you’re going to create a standalone short film with this much creativity and effort, it really needs to stand on its own. While “Red-Handed” definitely made me want more of this story, I felt a little short changed with what I was given.
This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.
Posted on February 4, 2012 in Reviews by Don R. Lewis
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