They say that desperate times lead to desperate measures and that’s certainly true in The Shoot where a hard up musician decides to rob an expensive fashion shoot (which is being held out in the desert) in order to pacify the dangerous money lenders who have come knocking at his door. I really like the concept of this film; it feels interesting and fresh to me and the decision to contrast armed robbery and fashion shoots together whilst isolated in the middle of a desert holds a lot of potential for both the film’s comedic and thriller sensibilities. And to some degree The Shoot delivers; I enjoyed my time with it and was held by the story but it ultimately doesn’t achieve all that it really could and should.
What comedy there is generally works well with the laughs often lying in the dialogue and through the cast’s easy chemistry. There is at least one comedic scene which goes for gross out humour rather than verbal sparring which I wasn’t a fan of, but if you like that sort of thing then I’m sure that will go down alright. Having said that the film does feel like it’s a draft away from truly mining its comedic possibilities. I was hoping for the comedy to continue and adapt when the tone grows darker, instead it basically drops out halfway through in place of a new film which is far darker and more thrilling. That would work too except that the thriller side, whilst it does conjure up genuine tension occasionally, never really exploits the potential its given and makes the later half of the film a touch underwhelming. So although everything is in place for this to really kick off as a comedic/thrilling and inventive movie, it never manages more than to stumble and fizzle out far too early on.
On the plus side one of the things which I really enjoyed in The Shoot is its score. The electronic music used isn’t an obvious choice for a thriller set in a desert and yet it unexpectedly adds an awful lot to the film’s tension and atmosphere. The score combined with the rather intuitive camera work and editing does wonders for the production; really helping it to feel alive and playful. It’s unusual to see an indie film which, rather than doing their best to mimic the feel of big budget movies actually sets out to create a memorable style of their own – so full credit for that.
Ultimately this isn’t a terrible film, nor is it a fantastic one. It’s very middle of the road in its execution, despite the rather fresh and fun concepts it started out with. I did enjoy the film whilst I watched it and I would recommend it if what I’ve written here has peaked your curiosity, but do be prepared for a film which sort of runs out of steam midway through. It’s not really the Reservoir Dogs 2 which some critics have bigged it up as being, but then again a comparison of that size is never going to be that helpful of an indie of this size and scale.
What is the film’s greatest strength? It’s got some inventive ideas going on in it.
Its greatest weakness? But it doesn’t fully develop them.
Would I see it again? Not really, I enjoyed it well enough but I won’t bother going back.
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