Thursday, November 4, 2021

One Shot Review: An Impressive Single Shot Film With Lots of Shooting

Release date: November 5, 2021
Running time: 96 minutes
Written and Directed By:  James Nunn
Starring:  Scott Adkins, Ashley Greene Khoury, Ryan Phillippe 

In an effort to prevent a terrorist attack on Washington D.C., an elite squad of Navy SEALs led by Lt. Blake Harris (Scott Adkins) and a junior CIA analyst Zoe Anderson (Ashley Greene) must retrieve a prisoner from a CIA black site island prison. Tensions flare as Deputy Site Manager Tom Shields (Ryan Phillippe) refuses to release the suspected terrorist based solely on Anderson's intel, but when the base comes under attack by waves of insurgents they must band together to complete the mission.

Like 1917 and Birdman, One Shot is an impressive feat of cinema.  As you can gather from the title, the film was done in the style of a single take, making sure that the action stays front and center and the viewer experiences the film along with the actors. It does present a much more visceral way to experience a film as the action and intrigue just do not stop.  And thankfully, the film doesn't skimp on either as One Shot has a great initial setup and good action.  And the film bolsters this style with some great actors.  Scott Adkins needs no introduction; this action star is perfectly in his element here and commands the scenes that he is in.  Ashely Greene Khoury is a great addition and I loved her strong female presence in this warzone.  And it was great to see Ryan Phillippe back on screen as well; I loved his character and the choices he had to make.  

However, One Shot sometimes shows its lower budget underpinnings during the film.  Occasionally dialogue will feel muddled, often because so much is going on around it, but I wish there had been an opportunity to rerecord or rebalance it.  I had to back up a couple times just to hear what had happened.  And occasionally, despite the good overall action the effects can be hit or miss.  And sometimes the single shot nature can hurt it.  In 1917, there was a lot of variety in locales and what happened, but here you don't get that.  There is a decent amount of scenarios, but it can start to feel the same as the core group tend to spend a good chunk of the film defending a location.  It sometimes feels like the same thing occurs in a different room, and you don't get the expanse that you got in something like 1917.  The movie is still an impressive feat, but it just needed some more variety to it.

One Shot has plenty of shooting, a wonderful cast, and intense action that keeps the viewers engaged through this impressive single shot scenario.  

Rent it.

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One Shot is available in theaters, on demand, and digital November 5, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.  

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