ODD MEN OUT is an odd film. Nominally a seeming riff on RESERVOIR DOGS the film swerves off into interesting territory only to end much too quickly leaving me to wonder if this is a proof of concept for a feature film.
The film has five bank robbers hustling into a motel room. Their job was partly successful in that they got the money, but the cops knew they were coming and now they are being hunted after a big shoot out. They are unsure what to do, more so after TV reports of the robbery suggest something more sinister is at work.
To be honest the first half of the the film is good but nothing special. While it is well done it suffers from being much to close to the Tarantino film mentioned above. All of the guys are in black suits and instead of colors everyone is wearing animal masks. It is only once the TV is turned on and the guys find out how badly things have gone south that the film comes into it's own. It's at this point that ODD MEN OUT begins to shine and to really suck us in...
...and that's the rub, by the time the film is truly standing on it's own the film has reached a point where either it is going to shoot off into feature film territory or have a hard time ending. The filmmakers decided to end the film with a turn that definitely ends things but doesn't give us all the answers nor is wholly satisfying.
Frankly I wanted more.
And that is the rub here- is this supposed to be a self contained film or is this a proof of concept?
As a short film, on it's own terms ODD MEN OUT is a good little crime drama that is probably a tad too close to RESERVOIR DOGS for it's own good. This doesn't mean it's bad only that as a short it's going to get some comments like mine, despite the fact that in the second half it picks up and goes somewhere else.
That the film is going somewhere else in the second half is what makes me think this could have been and probably have been a feature film that expands everything in the second half into something special. It is that second half shift that makes me a fan of the film.
I like the first half, I really like the second and I love the thought that if you remove or delay the ending this could become a kick ass feature.