21 April 2007 | happynation
Phone Booth on wheels...sorta
Snuck a peek at this before it plays at the Nashville Film Festival. (Sunday at 10pm) I was intrigued by the single shot/real time gimmick and was cautious, yet hopeful, that film would live up to the gimmick. The film unfolds in one continuous 88-or-so minute shot as new Jeep owner Chris Thompson is ordered around the city by a mysterious caller threatening to kill his daughter. Much like 24 and Phone Booth, which are clearly inspirations, the gimmick is used to enhance the storytelling and not be the storyteller. Had this been more standardly shot, it may have been entertaining and suspenseful enough, but lacking the extra layer of tension provided by the continuous shot. It's like the extra cream cheese icing for your Cinnabon. Though never as complex as the marathon shots in Children of Men (and certainly not matching that films emotional weight), Adrenaline does deserve note for its well-executed, unblinking camera work. And what does the technical achievement matter (which, by the way, thank heavens for auto iris, right?) if the performance can't compete? Well, Mr. David Alford brings it. Being on camera for 99% film, he sells the regular guy in constantly escalating hell while never flinching under the pressure of the persistence of character. Major kudos. And it seems that former detective Kellerman's PI business fell apart and he's had to resort to a bit of extortion to get by. Or maybe he was just bored. Whatever the case, Reed Diamond's "Harvey" is at least as entertaining as Keifer's caller in Phone Booth, possibly more so. (Though I might be a bit biased since I'm a sucker for just about anything featuring Homicide alums.) Not quite perfect--it does drag in a few places, the ending feels selected from a list of least cliché, and there are some moments with a whiff of "I have to some time to fill before the next cue"--Adrenaline is still an engaging thriller and well worth checking out given the opportunity.