SHORT FILM REVIEW
After botching a job for a ruthless crime boss, two mid-level criminals are forced to play a game of modified Russian Roulette.
IT'S ALWAYS FUN watching movies featuring criminal leads, and the reason is as simple as it is complex. The bad guys don't always have to follow a moral code and do the right thing. There are no barriers to what a filmmaker can use to entertain - and Double Zero leans into that beautifully. Writer/director Pat Bradley and his troupe know how to put on a show, and yes, you may even find yourself rooting for or liking the film's baddies. Come to think of it? There are only baddies in this film, and Bradley makes complete use of them. This is a story of criminals, and even more fun is that the villains are primarily women. How cool is that?
A GAME OF RUSSIAN ROULETTE - SIX CHAMBERS AND ONE BULLET...
Essentially, our leading anti-heroes kick off the story by discussing their fate at the hands of their boss. They screwed up large and were robbed of a large sum of money that didn't belong to them. Unfortunately, their boss Alvara (Jamie Ragusa), is not a woman known for her patience and, generally speaking, always gets what she wants. One way or the other. As Diana (Vivian Belosky) and Olivia (Caroline Anderson) discuss their possible grim future, they are summoned to a meeting - and have no choice but to enter the dragon's den.
Once at their destination, the fun begins. With her personal goon lurking in the background, Alvara begins to interrogate Olivia and Diana, and with no information coming to light, the real fun of this film starts. A game of Russian Roulette - six chambers and one bullet. Wrong answers mean a pull (or two) from the six-shooter, and any right (helpful) answers may result in Alvara pulling the trigger on herself. Double Zero presents an interesting situation for sure.
THE SPOTLIGHT MAY BE ON THE THREE WOMEN BUT THE BACKGROUND CHARACTERS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT. DOUBLE ZERO NEVER FORGETS THAT.
Things inevitably heat up, and we, the viewers, know that someone won't be leaving alive. Maybe even more than one someone, but that's not the real sparkle of this film. The real treat is watching these characters interact with each other, watching these actors playing off the other. I must admit that the thuggery from Alvara's "assistant" Ray (Casey Sullivan) is pretty standard fare - the tension between the three women is thick. Also worth noting is that the "Ray" character added a familiarity that most fans of the genre would appreciate. I know I sure did, and there's a foreboding feeling that comes from the "Ray" character that helps push the story along. The spotlight may be on the three women, but the background is just as necessary. Double Zero never forgets that.
SOME GOOD WRITING, SOME GREAT ACTING, AND A SLIGHT TWIST AT THE END ALL MADE FOR A GREAT TWENTY MINUTES.
It all comes down to this. What did I personally think of this short film? The answer? I thought it was great! Some good writing, some great acting, and a slight twist at the end all made for a great twenty minutes. Double Zero doesn't attempt to reinvent the wheel, to its credit, but it presents a fresh take on an old genre. Well done! Four stars.
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