Two brothers caught in a time loop must traverse a series of maze-like events in order to prevent a catastrophic fire from occurring.
Math genius Shane reunites with his estranged brother over breakfast one morning. He has an unusual request: he knows something bad is going to happen in the future, and he needs his brother’s help to prevent a tragedy.
The pair embark on a complex series of events, but must work together despite their history of conflict and resentment. And — they’re also caught in a time loop, which complicates their efforts to prevent the future catastrophe.
Writer-director Travis Bible has crafted an energetic, smart sci-fi thriller that easily pulls an audience in with smart, clever storytelling, rapid-fire dialogue and briskly compelling pacing.
The camerawork and direction is equally confident, adding to the short’s sharp, propulsive rhythm. The result is a compelling cinematic experience that is genuinely entertaining without sacrificing intelligence or craft.
Fans of sci-fi will be familiar with the convention of time loops and enjoy this particular riff on the subgenre. But the film also works on the level of a relationship story, with genuine emotional engagement and growth between the two brothers. Though we don’t get to spend a lot of time with them, they’re able to develop with full arcs as characters, making the ending surprisingly moving.
“Exit Strategy” is being developed into a feature, and with its intricate world and clever thrills, the stories and characters should easily expand into a larger narrative. As a short, it’s authentically fun, fast-paced and surprisingly resonant — in other words, everything people head to the multiplex for.
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