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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'NO EXIT - RISE AGAINST'
- Directed by Jesper Isaksen -

A sequel of the gangster short “No Exit”, this short film is a revenge story.

 

After being forced by the leader of the local drug cartel to shoot his partner, Sami is tormented by anger and feelings of guilt. Moreover, he is threatened by Ahmed’s family. Sami elaborates a twisty plan and manages to annihilate those responsible for the death of his friend.

Though this is short packed with action, it doesn’t really keep the viewer on the edge of the seat. The plot is suspenseful but lacks originality, the characters are shallow and reduced to the most common stereotypes of B-movie antiheroes. Featuring specific elements of the local crime scene would have helped the film in terms of authenticity.

Another issue is the repetitive depiction of Sami’s uneasiness. We see numerous shots of him fussing, being preoccupied, angsty and sad, but his situation is crystal clear right from the beginning when the b&w flashback shots are introduced.

Though the actor portraying Sami gives an express-full performance, his character has no depth. His room and his car have nothing personal, we don’t get to see him interact with people outside his business or perform any banal daily activity, so we don’t get in any way close to the protagonist. Every shot is created to emphasize the plot line, but for a twist to be effective, side stories are important.

Compared to the first part of “No Exit”, the visual style of the second part is more disciplined, but not the same thing can be said about the sound design. The film incorporates a lot of dramatic music to enhance the tension of  the action or the torment of Sami, along with moments of diegetic music.

The frequent hand-held camera movements build the intimacy of the spectator with the unfolding action, they give a natural feel of documenting the facts, as well as they produce feelings of anticipation. The shadowy interiors, the desolate urban locations, the predominance of dark further augment the desired tension.

 

Taking everything into account, No Exit 2 is an action film with an intriguing premise, but with an unconvincing cinematic structure. The director is in need of a better correlation between means of expression in film, which should complement and not reiterate each other.