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average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Oct 26, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Luke Rex
Written by:
Luke Rex
Luke Rex, Jannica Olin, Ryan Stroud, Darren Lipari

A quiet evening at a bar is disrupted by the arrival of two people.


It is night-time and John (Rex) is sitting at a bar, chatting to his partner over the phone, who he is hoping to see shortly when he flies to Mexico. Then, a woman and a man walk in and it soon becomes clear that they are not there just for a drink. The woman (Olin) proceeds to talk to John, apparently knowing who he is and explains to him that he is required to come with them for an emergency assignment.


Filmed on location at The Edmon cocktail bar in Los Angeles, this short begins with normality, before moving towards thriller and espionage territory. The appearance of the two strangers is what changes the atmosphere. Both are wearing black, looking mysterious and a bit menacing and their behaviour makes it clear that they are not your average people. As the woman speaks with John and the man (Stroud) briefly interacts with the bartender (Lipari), clues pop up that are either verbal or physical such as a tattoo or a scar and they provide information regarding the characters. The dialogue is well-written and sharp and there are references to the James Bond universe, such as the famous fictional spy's favourite choice of drink and recognisable names. And also, the title itself obviously (and rather cleverly) turns the spy's surname into a verb. It is a story where nothing is what it seems and the clever screenplay effectively creates suspense.


By providing limited information regarding the plot and characters, the script still manages to make the story quite intriguing and the characters interesting. The film ends in a way that makes the viewer wish they knew what happens next and that they knew more about the characters and this is not pointed out in a negative way but a positive one, because of the methodical way the events come together to show that John is about to embark on a new adventure and due to the characters who become engaging with little but valuable information and thanks to the performances, particularly by Olin and Stroud.


Special mention goes to the impressive final shot, where the camera gradually elevates, creating quite a view, which looks even better thanks to Laura Jansen's choice of cinematography, which generally creates a sort of film noir feeling throughout the film. The animation involving text messages as bubbles is pretty cool and Daniel Teo's ominous score is a plus and so is the inclusion of the song Ascension.


This is a film that fills the audience with suspense and keeps them guessing how things are going to turn out. The splendid cinematography, intriguing story and mysterious characters make this a highly recommended viewing.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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