Movie Review-A Single Shot


Review-A Single Shot is a character study into John Moon. As the film opens John is a loner, he seems content with just living a simple life being a hunter and trying to mend together the pieces of a broken home. In the opening seconds we watch as John is in the woods hunting down what he thinks is an animal and he accidentally shoots and kills a young woman. Little does John know this woman is going to turn his life into something that one cannot predict. Upon going back to her camp, he discovers a stash of money and decides that this money may be the answer to repair his broken life. He sees the money as the key to hopefully get his ex-wife and kid back in his life. Little does John know that the money he now has belongs to someone else who is dead set on getting it back or killing John and all the people he loves. This film shows us how a character can think he is staying the same but yet changes when he comes into money. The character of John is tragic at how hard he hit the bottom in life but yet you always get a glimmer of hope in certain aspects of his being. Sam Rockwell plays Moon with so much depth and balance. You want to feel sorry for him, but yet he does not seem to know when to stop doing this his way and getting around his stubbornness. He is easily the biggest positive to this film, his body motions, his facial expressions he sells you on this abyss situation in every essence of the film. This film really has such a slow pace, that it does not play out like a movie; it plays out like a novel. That each page is captivating and keeping you glued to see how it will all play out. When the final battle takes place with Moon and his nemesis who wants the money it is basically one of the payoffs to a build in the drama genre in ages. The film also contains a who’s who of character actors (Jeffrey Wright, William H Macy, Melissa Leo), who really give their best with what they are given, but this film is all Rockwell. This film each scene seems to be setting up where Moon is currently in his plight or life. The negative to this film is the pace; I feel it will be too slow for mainstream movie fans that have no patience. They will want to see a confrontation, instead of this slow cat and mouse game. This film struggles at times to establish what it is trying to convey to the audience and also what it wants to be. This film at times does seem to be stuck on this balance of not being sure where to take the story. The final ten minutes as I said earlier were such an ending that I wish the story would have been shorter. At almost two hours this film just is too long to really be that effective, but I felt the ending and 60 percent of the film is so recommended and strong. The 40 percent was not bad, it just needed to be trimmed or at least have something other than nudity to keep the attention span of someone wanting to see this chess game play out.

7 out of 10