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RedSin: Martyrs of Dissent

average rating is 3 out of 5


Chris Buick


Posted on:

Mar 20, 2024

Film Reviews
RedSin: Martyrs of Dissent
Directed by:
Christopher Ortiz
Written by:
Christopher Ortiz
Jay Welch, Bill Weeden, Leo Giannopoulos, Patrick Heraghty

Evolving from the 18-minute proof-of-concept short RedSin, RedSin: Martyrs of Dissent marks a more fleshed-out, more action-packed cut of that same story from writer/director Christopher Ortiz. When a troop of former Gulf War veterans starts being taken out by a mysterious terrorist organisation called RedSin, the CIA enlists the help of Jenson McKane to stop them due to his fraternal ties with the group’s leader Nathan.


RedSin: Martyrs of Dissent adds an extra high-tension half hour to that aforementioned concept piece, complete now with deeper character exploration, a few more impressive fight scenes, and of course, plenty more drama. In truth, it veers heavily into the melodramatic a lot of the time, but given the high concept and high stakes here, its 24-esque vibe suits the film quite well.


A number of the performances reflect this too. Most of the film's scenes are fraught with incredible tension, and usually one if not all of the characters in any given scene will undoubtedly become increasingly animated about something or other, whether it’s exclaiming vehemently about what’s at stake here or pointing fingers of blame. Standout goes to Heraghty’s CIA agent Burns, who at times looks like he could actually blow at any second but delights in his role, but really the whole cast gets the brief and again, it all fits that high-octane vibe that the film is obviously going for.


Extending a concept short to a longer feature can come with its own set of challenges. Pacing needs to be considered, extra scenes need to feel like they have a purpose rather than just extending the runtime. Luckily, RedSIn: Martyrs of Dissent feels like it does well not just to pad out but to complete its story. The film could have even benefited from extending itself a bit further if budgets and time had permitted some scenes to breathe a bit more and for some more backstory to be unfolded. The film also lacks a bit of focus in the beginning, we start by thinking we are following the narrative of one character but find ourselves suddenly following that of another, meaning there’s less time to get invested and up to speed before the climax. But overall, it's an entertaining near hour that does a pretty decent job at establishing and achieving nearly everything it needs and wants.


Some unfortunate hiccups come with the film’s audio, a change in score could have helped some of the later action scenes pack a bit more punch but are instead all too similar throughout, and the audio mixing of the score muffles some of the dialogue in the final showdown which means it loses its impact. But it’s the film’s fight scenes that show Ortiz’s real strength, a filmmaker who clearly fancies themselves as an action director and clearly has the chops to do so meaning these are the film’s real highlights.


An entertaining and well-told story of redemption, revenge and remorse with some great fight scenes along the way, RedSin: Martyrs of Dissent shows a filmmaker's real promise that could be truly fulfilled by some much-deserved backing and investment.

About the Film Critic
Chris Buick
Chris Buick
Short Film
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