Eric T Roth
I'm not usually one for this type of movie. I do like comedies and I do like action and adventure - but when it comes to the more ridiculous slapstick kind of film, I usually groan... a lot. To be completely true to myself, I did groan as I watched this short film. It just so happens I did it with a smile on my face. Car Stealers is funny. Not in the traditional way, rather with it's over the top take on action movies in general - and it's hugely cliche characters and situations. All exaggerated to B movie greatness from director Christopher Guerrero - and a excellently groan-worthy script from Eric T Roth. As the style of the film guarantees, "Car Stealers" will not be for everyone. However, I feel a good many more folks will enjoy this film than they may realize. They'll just have to be coerced into jumping onboard.
Remaining spoiler free, what can be said about a film where the title itself gives away the plot? You've got four people - and a dog - who go around stealing cars. The car stealer gang. Much like your favorite crime drama or heist movie, each person has a role. It's when a newcomer with special powers enters the fray, bringing the gang up to five members and a dog, that we're really introduced to these characters. Special powers? You read that correctly. There's a little science fiction mixed into this short film - and I loved it!
As the group plans out their next heist, we're left with one real question... is the leader of the gang going to far? Has this entire thing been one big personal vendetta? You'll have to watch to find out but in truth? It doesn't matter. With "Car Stealers" you hop in for the ride, not the destination. This form of comedy isn't exactly new by any stretch - but it's done well. If you're not smiling, and perhaps even a little sad at the end, you're not human.
So... praise where praise is due. I loved the look and feel of this film! Especially the feel/pacing. Yes. There were a few edits where the colors didn't quite match up - more like the contrast - but it doesn't really matter. For the most part this is a great looking short film. Very reminiscent of early '00 films and perhaps a Tarantino movie or two. Excellent use of transitions and wipes, really add a flare that truly makes this an exciting film to watch. Even if in reality, there's a really basic story happening.
Now... when I write basic, I don't mean that in a harsh way. Let's face it though - save for a few thematic twists here and there, such as the girl with a Carrie-esque power, and a dog who hates loud noises, this isn't a new story. Yet it's told with style and yes, it is funny. I also want to point out that the awkward on purpose acting was great. A true tribute to action flicks of past years.
At the end of the day? I had way more fun watching this than I would have originally thought. A few minutes into the film, I knew what kind of movie it was... and was dreading the rest. But you know what? I ended up diggin' it through and through. "Car Stealers" made a believer out of me and because of this flick? Perhaps I won't be so quick to judge in the future. In my humble opinion "Car Stealers" earns it's well above average rating of three and a half stars. A solid, fun short film. No question.