As Jordan Chesney’s short film Jet opens, a man (Mark Scarboro) sits in his car in the middle of the day, preparing to shoot himself in the head. When the moment of truth comes, however, he is interrupting by a young girl (Rachel St. Gelais) crossing down the street. He pauses long enough to see a van pull up, and see the girl get kidnapped. His suicide now a second thought, the man chases off after the van.
It’s an intriguing idea, someone finding their inner hero in the midst of the lowest point in their life. For the most part, the film delivers on the potential of its premise, though the second half does have some visual issues. For one, the chase of the van eventually ends around the magic hour, as light is rapidly disappearing. This gives the rest of the visuals a flattened look, as the contrast disappears due to the lack of any strong light or strong shadow.
Which is maybe by design; the film is certainly floating in a murky gray area of the narrative at that point, so perhaps the very real flatness of contrast is on purpose. The main problem with it, even if by design, is that, compared to the brilliance of the daylight footage before it, it can’t help but look less engaging. Which is unfortunate.
Beyond not appreciating the visual style of the second half of the film, and a feeling that the score gets a little too heavy-handed at times, I nevertheless did find the film engaging. Again, the premise alone is intriguing, and there are even more moral questions that develop based on how the short wraps up, that elevate the entire experience.
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