Why Watch? Here’s the deal: this short film from The Hallivis Brothers has a lot of stupid 80s action tropes stuffed into it. Everyone is model attractive (including the Kate Beckinsale lookalike), there’s a steroid-infused bad guy, none of the characters are defined beyond being hot, a cartoonish amount of bullets are expelled, and all the dialogue is laughably cliched.
But here’s the other thing: it all looks amazing. Shifter has fantastically executed action that blends neatly with some inventive CGI (the elevator cables are an inspired touch). The Inception riff is easy to spot in the form of a mystery-computer-suitcase, although the science fiction element feels silly (injected with that 80s action sensibility again) when it serves only to turn one chase scene into two chase scenes.
On that front, it has an entertaining throwback quality that puts the generic in genre, but it’s difficult to deny that the complete package is built purely for speed. It thinks with its biceps, and some will find ironic enjoyment there, but there’s serious skill behind the careening camera angles, the energetic economy of the editing and the overall sheen. It’s the cinematic equivalent of parkour — which oddly enough features no parkour. All adrenaline tricks, no real substance. But clearly that was the point.
What Will It Cost? About 9 minutes.