In a B-List of Movies, One Shot gets a C – at best. Filmed in the one continuous take gimmick of 1917, the flick lacks any real character development or story to give it a raison d’etre. If it was a word, one might describe One Shot as the low “budgetiest” of the low budget films. Take a bunch of mediocre actors with a bad script, and kill off nearly everybody, and you have One Shot. For your One Shot, you can skip this Hulu movie unless you have insomnia. It is sleep-inducing.
Lt. Jake Harris and CIA analyst Zoe Anderson are dispatched to a black site to pick up a suspected terrorist detainee to bring him to Washington, D.C. The site manager, Jack Yorke, refuses to allow the prisoner to leave until he receives confirmation. Amin Mansour, even under enhanced interrogation techniques, denies any terrorist involvement. Zoe has an ace up her sleeve to get him to talk. Jake and his team of SEALS just want to get home in time for dinner. Set on a small island in the middle of nowhere, and shot with a shaky handheld camera, One Shot has a real claustrophobic feel. There’s no escape, for good guys or bad, or the viewer, for that matter. I give the film 2.0 Gavels and it receives a 59% Rotten Tomatoes rating with a poor 5.6/10 IMDb score.
When anyone finds out that Jake Harris is a SEAL, he’s asked how many have you killed, never how many have you saved. The CIA thinks Mansour has knowledge of a dirty bomb in Washington DC. Insurgents attack the island to insure he reveals nothing of the plans. Communications cut off, against overwhelming numbers, Harris is the only chance Mansour has to ever see his wife again.
Without question, you know Scott Adkins from his numerous direct-to video action films. Never heard of him, you say? Although in a few major films (Doctor Strange) and known for his martial arts skills, he’s not exactly a household name. As an actor, think a smaller Steven Seagal. His role as Jake Harris will not raise his profile. Ashley Greene apparently peaked years ago in the Twilight series, got a part in Bombshell, then plummeted to Zoe Anderson in One Shot. Google still lists this film in post-production. Maybe that’s her chance to improve the role.
“Black Island” is the U.N. of terrorists. So, why isn’t there more security around? This doesn’t exactly look like Guantanamo Bay. How many rounds does a pistol hold? Jake is a virtual killing machine who never runs out of ammo, rarely pausing to re-load. If “the reward of the hereafter is the greatest gift of all,” why do the bosses never volunteer to be the suicide bomber?
“The One Take camera technique is new enough in mainstream cinema to make One Shot interesting to action fanatics, but only those who want a relentless shower of violence will be entertained by the onslaught.” City AM
“But there’s no getting around the fact that these are cardboard characters, even by action movie standards.” IndieWire
Likely, it will take more than One Shot of whiskey to get you through this movie. There are lots of dead bodies for your brain to un-see.