Cinema Review: 7 Minutes | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023  

7 Minutes

Studio: Starz
Directed by Jay Martin

Jun 25, 2015 Web Exclusive
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The number of movies being released that can be described as “Tarantino-esque” has fallen in the last decade, but anyone able to recall trips to their local Blockbuster in the late ‘90s can remember a time when you couldn’t spit without hitting a Quentin-carbon-copy. Those were the days when every crime thriller was also trying to be a dark comedy and featured a mix of fast, vulgar dialogue, quirky criminals, unorthodox editing and on-the-nose musical cues. It was a testament to Tarantino’s talent that for half a decade every similar film that was released only looked like a knock-off of Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction. In many ways, 7 Minutes feels like a blast from the past, tapping into post-Tarantino comi-crime clichés, but updating them with an awful, modern, bro-y vibe.

In a ho-hum American town, three good-looking bros (Luke Mitchell, Zane Holtz, Jason Ritter) try to earn some extra cash selling designer drugs to neighborhood teens. They lose a small fortune’s worth of designer drugs in an absolutely zany fashion and must recoup the cash in order to pay back a dangerous crime lord. Conveniently, one of the young men has a slimy uncle who’s hidden half a million stolen dollars at his family-owned insurance agency, which inspires their plan. The “seven minutes” of the film’s title refers to length of the robbery itself, which was supposed to be a simple in-and-out hold-up. (Of course, it doesn’t play out that smoothly.) The robbery is cut up and spread out across the movie’s full runtime, punctuated by long flashbacks that explain where things went wrong. This gimmick removes any tension from what should be the movie’s centerpiece; it’s hard to get caught up in the excitement when you’re only seeing short snippets of the scene at a time. Also, 7 Minutes leaves out one of the best parts of any heist movie: the planning phase, where the criminals carefully plot out their robbery. Instead, 7 Minutes’ heist is planned in a hurried conversation over beers (as the camera nauseatingly spins around the boys.)

The editor certainly deserves credit for attempting to salvage a story rife with too-convenient coincidences with visual flair: each character’s spotlight scene is prefaced by a freeze-frame where their name appears superimposed across the image, which in practice is surprisingly less cheesy than it sounds on paper. The cast, too, are game—particularly Kris Kristofferson, in a minor role, and Leven Rambin, as one robber’s tough, pregnant wife. These merits aren’t enough, though, to save 7 Minutes from feeling like a slog even at its brief runtime.

Author rating: 2.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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