Having some fun with the ol' doomsday scenario can definitely be both enlightening and entertaining. For as long as most people have been alive, we've all had to consider what would happen if someone out there decided to push the nuclear button - and know that we've no control whatsoever. Generally speaking, I'd imagine we all assume that the people in charge of such monumental powers are not exactly asleep at the wheel. That they represent the very best of us in terms of their intelligence, doing their due diligence to make sure that the orders they're following are as accurate and precise as can be. This is why we should all be thankful that Officer Krovolov and his only cohort Vlad, are not really in-charge in the reality we're living in - because if there's one thing "Order 27" proves fairly conclusively, it's that if they were, we'd likely all be doomed. There's no doubt that these two soldiers in one room with a whole bunch of archaic computers are doing their best to do the job they're supposed to do, but much like the technology around them would imply, they're not really equipped to.
Call "Order 27" a case of what might happen if the people in charge of nuclear powers weren't exactly the brightest crayons in the box. This is what the scramble to fix a horrific mistake could be like, viewed through a dry comical lens. Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to get word that five missiles are headed your way - knowing you only had minutes to react. Imagine what that scenario would be like if you couldn't trust the information you were getting, then imagine how quickly you'd have to move using the information you received. Regardless of whether or not it was entirely true? Then imagine finding out what's actually real, what's "cloud cover," and having to reverse course in mere seconds based on new orders and information. Picture having the people you communicate with in another country - have equally faulty equipment and little going on in terms of real intelligence! For real – imagine being Russia in this scenario, desperately seeking help from the United States as precious seconds are ticking away, and you're on the phone with a dude that sounds exactly like Matthew McConaughey? Things would not simply be alright, alright, alright – you feel me?
For a short film hovering around the fifteen-minute mark, "Order 27" has a perilous amount of fun examining one of the most catastrophic potential scenarios the human race could face one day. Suppose a country pushed the button and deployed its nukes. In that case, it only makes sense that the country they've been aimed at would respond as quickly as possible – but what none of us think about is a situation where we'd have to reverse course on such a crucial decision and what that might actually entail. Conceptually, it's a nightmare to think that way - it could keep you awake for the rest of your LIFE as you tried to sort through how quickly these dominoes would fall, which is why I'm quite thankful that writer/director Tom Wheeler decided to make this a comedy. It's filled with tension, intensity, and drama too, but at the heart of it all is a lighthearted script that reveals naturally good people simply making mistakes. You can tell from the room that Vlad and Officer Krovolov are sitting in that they've probably sat in that same exact space for years and years and never once had to lift a finger for anything of importance. And you can tell that when that time comes for them, they aren't exactly ready.
"Order 27" intends to make light of what would be our darkest moments and completely succeeds in that mission. As for our heroes in Officer Krovolov and his trusty sidekick Vlad… it's much harder to say whether or not they'll survive this doomsday scenario, given that we're not really all that convinced they could succeed in a one-man mission to the bathroom and back. The acting is fun and playful in a way that perfectly matches the script's tone. The direction is stellar, though the story does, of course, all take place on the inside of one room. It's the writing above all that really carries "Order 27" out in full so that we're all engaged, entertained, and satisfied with this thought-provoking film of top-secret f***ery – Wheeler's done a fantastic job of turning our worst fears and nightmares into a genuinely good time. Wheeler’s done a fantastic job of turning our worst fears and nightmares into a genuinely good time. I’m giving this three and a half stars out of five for showing us an outstanding level of competency under extraordinary circumstances.