If only bad guys would learn not to break into the house of a retired badass. Thankfully, to our great benefit, bad guys never do, and we get films like John Wick, Don’t Breathe, Nobody, and now Lone Shadow. Writer/director Max Z S’s short gives us a flash of what the late Tony Scott might have done with this genre.
In this thriller, a heist goes awry when two burglars are stopped by a figure in a skull bandana mask and white cowboy hat, known as Shadow (Daniel Stephans II). In classic comic book fashion, we learn that our masked hero, also known as Clint Wayne, instead of killing the thieves, drops the criminals off on the doorstep of a policeman named Officer Parker (Jeremy Sundheim). So we’ve got the Lone Ranger, Punisher, Batman, and Spiderman all quickly referenced. This should’ve been titled Easter Egg. But I mean that without the eye-roll. It’s clever within its short runtime.
“…two burglars are stopped by a figure in a skull bandana mask…”
Lone Shadow is only 3 minutes and 15 seconds long, and yet it doesn’t force-feed you with a ton of information. As a good flick should do, it unfolds with just enough 2000s Tony Scott visual editing flair to make you curious to see more and, most importantly, rewatch. The motion picture starts with an actual bang, and from there, you are thrust into very interesting trick shots, manipulating the timeline of events in which these burglars are apprehended by Shadow. Some scenes are hard to make out and even get you to move in your seat a little bit, hoping to peer around a corner or get a better view of what’s happening. It’s an active movie-watching experience, which I appreciated.
Again, since it’s a short, you will feel the urge to rewind and rewatch to fully understand the sequence of events. I felt like a detective in an old noir that plays back a recording over and over again until the seemingly nothing voice on the tape becomes a breakthrough in the case. Max Z S puts the kind of indie magic into this that makes you want to go out and shoot something with your friends. Whether you have an iPhone or a proper camera, these little movies can motivate filmmakers.
Could Lone Shadow have spent less of the running time on title cards and credits and given the audience more story? Absolutely. Ultimately, it does enough in 3 minutes to tickle the imagination of the viewer and draw on nostalgia to feel fresh. This is the thriller Tony Scott never got to make!
"…the thriller Tony Scott never got to make!"