Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Today's short film is called EXIT PLAN.

This is Richard Oakes first short film, at least according to his IMDB. He's worked on two other projects before this,  one that looks like a TV Pilot that was never picked up, and the other a low budget zombie movie called SHED OF THE DEAD, all very typical. Also, here's something, a weird pattern I've kind of noticed, and that is that a lot of these short film people previously worked mostly in the visual effects department. I don't know why that is.

Anyway, this short seems to have big robots in them and to take place in your typical BLADE RUNNER-like grimy, overcrowded future, so... sure, I'll check it out.

Here's the synopsis: Our world is coming to an end! We must prepare! After an asteroid collides with the moon and sends it on a decaying orbit towards the earth, Mankind is left with only one choice. Escape! Adam and his robotic companion IO must do what they can to get off the planet before it's too late.

Hence the title, I would assume... Exit Plan.

Let's watch...

Well, that was a mess.

The over-reliance on CGI was bad enough, especially when you consider how bad it generally looked, but then you have think about how little any of it was actually needed. You could make an argument for the massive cityscape as an anchor for the setting, or of the shattered moon for the sake of the plot, but the robots and the rocket facility(?) were completely superfluous. Every single robot in this film could have been completely cut, and no one would've noticed... mostly because the story made no sense, but also because they did nothing.

I mean, what was this film even saying, that he was doomed either way? Or was he saved from blowing up in the rocket when he (apparently) got lost on the way to the rocket pad? Was the useless bald guy planning on killing him? Why? If the useless bald guy was just planning on killing him, why not do it in the storage container? And then... tangent... the main guy and the robot got lost? When? How? I feel like they cut a lot of important connective tissue from the film, a lot of important narrative points, and when a full fourth of your running time is devoted to credits, maybe that wasn't the best idea. Jesus, they wasted so much time on the useless bald guy, the embarrassingly low budget Black Market set, and the useless bald guy's embarrassing soliloquy, that the whole point of the film, will what's-his-face make it to the rocket on time, ended up being rushed and half-assed.

Speaking of the useless bald guy's embarrassing soliloquy... woof, right? This script asked quite a bit of it's actors, and they were just not equal to the task. Mostly because the dialogue is extra extra hammy and so badly over-written and in dire need of rewrites, but also because the actors are just not equal to the task.

In the end, this short is a classic example of short film creative over-reach. Too much bad CGI without any narrative function. Too many big ideas that don't fit organically into the story, so they're forced in. A script centered around pathos and desperation, and a cast that is incapable of delivering those emotions believably. An overly-complex, overly-stuff script that results in a film that just doesn't make any sense. It's an all around mess.

If you're into genre stuff, and you've got 20 minutes to spare, and you haven't watched it already, then sure, give EXIT PLAN a look, but otherwise... hard pass.

slow head shake,

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