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Four Minute Warning short film review

Updated: Mar 26, 2021


Directed by: Chris Hallas

Written by: Chris Hallas

Starring: Amanda Gordon, Shona Graham, Rosie Steel, Sam Tutty

Poster for Four Minute Warning showing protagonists.
Poster for Four Minute Warning

Three young candidates experience a job interview they will never forget.

Two girls and one boy have reached the final stage of an interview process and one of them will be successful. They are sitting at a table, with the company's HR, when the alarm and power go off. They then receive a text message informing them that a missile is about to attack. Believing that they have four minutes to live, the four of them try to pull themselves together, reflect on their lives and contemplate how they should spend their final moments.

The title will likely make people think of the single Four Minute Warning by Mark Owen and Eliot Kennedy, which was released in 2003. The song is based on the Four-minute warning, a public alert system formulated by the British Government during the Cold War, which was based on the approximate time it would take a ballistic missile to reach its target from the moment it is detected. And that four minute period is the core of the film. What should one do if they have just a few minutes to live?

The entire narrative consists of one scene and takes place in real time. Although the plot evolves around four characters who believe they are about to die, the narrative is filled with humour, with references to English pop group Take That and some protagonists suggest that they should have intercourse. There is also drama, as they regret things they did not do in the past.

All of the protagonists deliver very entertaining performances and it is clear that they are having a lot of fun with their characters. It is very entertaining watching them as they unwillingly offend each other and contemplate spending their final moments having sex and heartbreaking as one of them is saddened by the thought of never seeing their children again.

Hallas's script contains interesting characters and clever dialogue and he directs effectively, creating a well-executed long take.

Composer Liam Colomer does a great job. The score is amusing or dramatic when required and the addition of the Four Minute Warning track during the closing credits ends the film perfectly.

Speaking of the closing credits, they are animated and look fantastic.

This short, dark comedy looks at an extraordinary situation: four people trying to figure out what to do during the four minutes they have to live. The film is funny and dramatic and might make the viewer consider what they want to include in their bucket list.



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