A near future noir-esque sci-fi from writer and director Gerard Lough, Ninety Seconds is an interesting proposition as it looks into the implications of how easy it is to hack personal information.
Its a great concept for the story and the film starts strongly with so called ‘techs’ surveilling people, trawling through hours of material just to find a minute and half of incriminating footage. In the wake of the recent phone hacking scandal (which this film makes reference to) it’s a scary premise and one that everyone can relate to.
Visually the film has an effective claustrophobic feel to it. As well as evoking Blade Runner and Strange Days, rather cleverly the camera work makes the audience feel that they are the one’s spying on the characters. It puts you the viewer in the mindset of the characters and this can only be a good thing. Another highlight of the visual elements are the special effects on display here, for a low budget piece the technology looks fantastic and it’s yet another another example of what one can do with effort and hard work rather than just sitting back and relying on CGI.
Cian Furlong’s original soundtrack is worthy of special mention, the score evokes the sci-fi setting of the piece perfectly and in addition does a good job of enhancing the air of mystery that pervades the film. The inclusion of a licensed track by MOTOR gels well with the rest of the music and doesn’t feel like a shoehorned in track to increase the publicity the film receives so kudos to all parties for that.
Andrew Norry in the lead role of mark stands out performance wise, his ‘tech’ Mark comes across initially as a heartless bastard but he is a man with a past and the motivation for what he does (although never revealed) is clearly present thanks to Norry’s subtle performance.
The films only real problem is that its just not long enough, the investigation into the mysterious female character doesn’t really contain enough twists and turns to make the final plot twist a satisfying pay off. Its a good ending but for this reviewer at least it comes around a little too quickly. Even with an additional ten minutes of running time the story could have been filled out and would have been much more rewarding.
Whilst it’s not without fault, if a films only major problem is that it should have been longer then the filmmakers have done something right, overall Ninety Seconds is still a compulsive and enjoyable thriller worthy of your time.
The film is currently doing the rounds on the festival circuit and more information can be found about it here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2302786/