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By Alan Ng | November 3, 2022

In the war on terror, there is bound to be collateral damage. This is where decisions require precise and accurate information going in. Paul Franklin’s short film, Fireworks, explores the tough choices made by a covert ops team leader.

First to walk into the MI6 office is Special Ops Leader Gillian Lye (Charlotte Riley). Her team is currently tracking a suspected terrorist using state-of-the-art virtual technology, which allows her to virtually “walk” in close proximity to her target. But, unfortunately, as effectively as the system is surgically striking its target, it’s not perfect.

“…tracking a suspected terrorist using state-of-the-art virtual technology…”

As her team walks in, we learn that Lye is a bit of a hard-a*s, tolerating no excuses for being late or taking shortcuts. That said, the team is more than competent to do its job. Nevertheless, the pressure is on as Lye must make a life-and-death decision based on insufficient data.

From a story and production standpoint, Fireworks could easily be a television show. What most short films we review aspire to become in terms of a professional look and feel, Fireworks is already there. The covert-ops set feels real, the integration of “virtual technology” is there, and hell, you’ve got some named actors as well.

But it’s story that counts. Fireworks puts you in the classic what-would-you-do scenario pitting the “greater good” against “protecting the innocent” and “following orders” over “doing what’s morally right.”

Fireworks screened at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. For screening information, visit the DNEG website.

Fireworks (2022)

Directed: Paul J. Franklin

Written: Steven Lally

Starring: Charlotte Riley, Denise Gough, Ivanno Jeremiah, Raghad Chaar, Elyssa Adil, Hamed Mirani, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Fireworks Image

"…could easily be a television show."

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