Action, Sci Fi
If ever I've watched a short film that looks like it was a blast to make, this would be it. Since I wasn't actually present during production I can only guess - but the feel sure lends itself well to my assumption and honestly? It doesn't even matter. All that matters is the perceived feeling of a fun time - and "Ricochet" sure looked fun. My point? It's when a production feels as if it doesn't take itself all that seriously, not attempting to reinvent the genre or crush it's cast and crew, that some real fun can be had with it. A good time for it's audience always translates well. Don't confuse what I've written to mean an arse-load of hard work and heart wasn't put into this production - only to mean that it doesn't look that way. Making something look fun and easy is tough - but if you can manage it, you're already in the gold.
So just what's up? After what looks to have been a great party, Ana wakes to find a young girl locked inside the household panic room. Some party indeed - and just who is this young woman? A valid question worth exploring, until some unwanted guests come knocking. Armed to the teeth and not actually knock knock knocking, these three intruders mean business and they're not selling a vacuum. Quite quickly things go from bad to worse and without warning, the science fiction aspects of "Ricochet" emerge. Just what is it Ana's father is into? What is "The Institute" and who the hell is the random girl who was locked in the panic room? As writer, director Tim Earnheart goes about trying to answer these questions, in a cool, action oriented manner, I was treated to some excellent action movie hallmarks both visually - and through some excellent sound design. The short of it? "Ricochet" definitely delivers. Of that there is no question.
Technically, "Ricochet" is pretty slick. Rammed full of breakneck edits and some excellent cinematography, the pacing is lightning quick and perfect for an action flick. Clocking in at just over ten minutes, Earnheart wastes no time setting things up and knocking them back down. He definitely has a knack for visual flare, and clearly is a man who knows what he wants and how to get it. Quite literally, "Ricochet" is the full package when it comes to production - and it doesn't hurt that the sound design is also top notch. I also couldn't help but be reminded of Sam Raimi's early work - both in terms of style and sound. Nothing wrong with that.
What I was on the fence about was some of the post production aspects. Mainly, and I hate to sound like I'm nit-picking, but the muzzle flares drove me nuts. If I were to guess, I would say "Ricochet" makes use of Andrew Kramer's "Action Movie" packages - and they're great packages. Yet something was off. Perhaps using the stock essential with no modifications? Or not enough? My point is this. The flares looked all wrong. I can't quite put my finger on why, but perhaps to bright? No matter how you slice it, every time I seen them I was taken out of the movies atmosphere. Only briefly - but definitely noticed.
It also occurred to me that "Ricochet" may come off as a little confusing. Especially for the average Joe. The science fiction elements, combined with the break-neck speed, can be a lot to take in - in such a short time. And even if you get it, or most of it, lines like Gianna-Marie's Daddy wanted boys one off, adds to the confusion. Does Ana have a sister? Is the random young girl actually her sister? I know that she was not, but also see how things could become confusing - especially when considering the naturally confusing nature of the plot. I also wondered why Ana didn't recognize the young woman, even more when us viewers get to see a photo during the end of the film.
At the end of the day, this film wasn't about the technicalities in my eyes. Having a technically sound production was/is simply a bonus. Having a movie look great is the gravy over the mashed. "Ricochet" is about the quick kill. No pun intended. It's about coming in expecting an action flick, and getting just that. But more to the point? This was a fun action movie - something often attempted but less often done right. I had a great time watching this! When it's all said and done - does anything else really matter? An easy three and a half stars. Well done.