2014 / Director. Jay Martin.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
“In and out within seven minutes”. That’s the plan for three guys staging a brazen armed robbery at a local bank. Of course if the job had gone smoothly there wouldn’t be any reason to make a movie and so naturally the job goes pear shaped. Bullets fly and unexpected circumstances arise. Suddenly, what they thought was a close-knit plan, becomes an all in-affair with other persons stepping into the equation.
7 MINUTES crept up on me and took me by surprise. In fact I had never heard of it up until the point of it landing in my hands. The cover art and poster treatments were confronting and my attention was perked immediately. It is an accomplished piece of independent filmmaking from a first time director Jay Martin. He has constructed a multi-layered crime film with an intentionally disjointed narrative that uses the robbery itself as the backbone. The course of the film switches its focus from one character to the next and details each of their movements leading up to the crime itself. They each their own reason for being involved and when faced with the botched job it’s every man for himself.
The performances here are all good. Former Aussie HOME & AWAY star Luke Mitchell has made the transition to the American scene with ease and he makes a strong impression here in his first leading role. The support around him includes players such as Jason Ritter, Kevin Gage, Kris Kristofferson and Joel Murray. All give solid turns with the standout being Kevin Gage. He conjures up a terrifying and psychopathic performance that lifts the film to another level.
Technically 7 MINUTES is also savvy and skilfully structured. The cinematography is awesome with wide sweeping shots and creative angles that are never so pretentious as to be distracting. The use of slow motion with an effective score by tomandandy compliment the design and offer the movie an extra coat of polish.
Of course there are also a lot of clichés and obvious tropes exploited in the film, as well as some convenient plot holes and irrelevant explorations of character traits. Ordinarily such things would irk me but with an ensemble of solid performances paired with a concise production design and a kinetic score the film moves at a breakneck pace and never oversteps its mark. With a structure not too far removed from RESERVOIR DOGS and an atmosphere of THE TOWN meets HEAT, 7 MINUTES is a surprise crime film that ought to impress most fans of the genre.