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By T.W. Anderson | April 27, 2006

Imagine how you would react if the programming job you applied for was actually a front for the CIA. Vincent Kincaid (Jarrad Paul) thought he was applying for a job coding C++, but after a series of strange psychological tests, Vincent learns that he is, in fact a K-7, a born killer with no conscience. Now, Vincent is forced to make a decision, the two CIA operatives (Cheryl Bricker and Paul Bunch) conducting his interview want him to kill a fellow applicant (Kai Lennox), and what began as an innocuous job prospect has become a life or death situation with both men’s future on the line.

It’s not often that I get to see such a supremely masterful project. The film, which won Best Live Action Short at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, pricks up interest as swift as a sharp tack. From the slick opening credit sequence to the brilliantly outrageous performance from Jarrad Paul (The Shaggy Dog) K-7 sucks you in. What makes the short film stand miles above the usual entries in the genre is Leone’s ability to immediately set you into the world of the main characters, then, in less than 20 minutes deliver a film that runs a gamut of emotions and genres, all wrapped inside a concise plot that never wastes one second of precious film on pointless exposition or unnecessary subtext.

Filled to the brim with sidesplitting humor, bright characterizations, tight scripting, and beautifully photographed in all its crisp 35mm glory by Kenneth Yeung, Writer/Director Christopher Leone’s second live action short is an extraordinary exhibition of his future prospects as a feature filmmaker. Proving once and for all that style is smart but substance is king. Moreover than not, in the world of the minuscule running times, the need for brevity without sacrifice is what separates the masters from the minions.

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