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  • A woman wakes up in a locked room with no way out and no contact with anyone. However, the discovery of a very odd gun changes that situation dramatically.

    Fans of the Portal video games will not need to be told too much more about the plot to know what this "odd gun" is as this fan film takes the mechanics of the game and makes it into an escape attempt that is exciting and cleverly done. Beyond that there isn't really a plot so much as an idea and a dramatic punch line at the end. The effects are very good whether it be the realism of the gun, the editing of the portals or moving the character through them. At 5 minutes long it fills the time easily even if there is a lot of build-up before we get into the action. The ending of the film is clever and made for a punchy way to close.

    The only cast of note is Danielle Rayne who does really well. Despite not saying a word, she has the physical presence to hold the attention while in her cell and also pull off the action later. Of course the lack of other speaking characters from the game is a little bit disappointing at first, but the more dramatic film would probably not have suited the more comedic input. Overall, No Escape is a great little short film that is driven by effects and atmosphere; it will of course play best to those that love the games and bring this with them to the film because the lack of story-telling does mean you need to know the scenario before you start.
  • While the critics complain that this is too short -- it's a short film, for crying out loud. It's supposed to be a teaser. The length of the shorty feels perfect, if you know anything about the game at all.

    And even if you don't, it might leave you longing for a taste of Portal / Portal 2. You grasp the understanding of the weapon from just a few clips. And you don't need to understand 'how' she figured out how to get out eventually, because the game is a massive puzzle, in itself.

    Clearly it all makes sense and the film was enjoyable from a nerd's perspective. The woman is also ripped as can be and gorgeous. I really enjoyed this.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "No Escape" is an American short film from 5 years ago written and directed by Dan Trachtenberg. It runs for 7 minutes, 5.5 minutes without credits. Good thing about it is that you can enjoy this film no matter where you come from. You do not need to speak English as there is no dialogue in here. I am only vaguely aware of the game "Portal", even if I love the song "Still Alive", but fans of the game will certainly appreciate this short movie even more than I did. The action and effects are really close to what you have to do in the video game I believe. It is probably more about effects and action than about great acting or a great story, but the close connection to the game makes it work nonetheless in my opinion. And action/sci-fi really isn't my genre usually. Still I enjoyed the watch and give it a thumbs up. Recommended.
  • With an upcoming film starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman coming out in 2016, I decided to check out director Dan Trachtenberg's short, Portal: No Escape, which was based on a video game which I've never heard of. Fans of the video games will probably appreciate this film more, but it's still pretty simple to follow. A young woman awakens in a locked cellar (similar to the one in Oldboy) under heavy surveillance. She discovers a hidden weapon that will allow her to escape. I don't want to give away what exactly it is that the weapon does for those of us that aren't familiar with the video game. The woman is played by Danielle Rayne and there isn't any dialogue so it basically is a very physical performance. I could easily see Rayne as the next female Michelle Rodriguez faces off in the Fast and Furious franchise after eliminating Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey. Ryan delivers some fun scenes, while the short also benefits from some cool looking visual effects. The short is less than six minutes long, but it is an entertaining watch. I'm looking forward to Trachtenberg's upcoming film, Valencia, which seems to have a very interesting cast.
  • This one will make the fanboys happy, but will leave most people cold. It makes the mistake of assuming you can cover for a lack of storytelling ability by having lots of Really Cool Effects, and referencing a popular game doesn't hurt.

    It's not clear how our hero figures anything out. She just does.

    It's not clear how any of this portal magic works. You're just supposed to know already, even though the character doesn't. Until she does.

    It's not clear why the obvious weapon is never actually used as a weapon.

    These are the kinds of things that aren't really useful as big revelations at the end, but need explanation as they happen.