Adopting a “less is more” formula, the short film Nightfire is among the most thrilling action films in recent memory. While other action films might have a few unnecessary plot lines to increase the excitement or fill out a “feature length” runtime, Nightfire keeps the story focused and the action naturally flows from there. Director/co-writer Brando Benetton and co-writer Los Silva created an intriguing edge-of-your-seat thriller that I nearly completely enjoyed and would highly recommend.
As the film opens, two American agents, Agent Carter (Lorenzo Pisoni; “All My Children”) and Agent Ross (newcomer Greg Hadley) are sent on a mission to retrieve computer chips for the military. One of the few non-serious grievances I have about this film is that “Agent Carter” is not played by Hayley Atwell as this is a non-MCU movie that uses the name “Agent Carter”. The name is said a few times and, being an MCU fan, it threw me for a few seconds. But I digress… for now.
The agents’ mission hits a snag when they encounter an unexpected Italian political prisoner, Olivetti (Dylan Baker; “Hunters”, “The Good Wife”, Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films, and numerous other credits spanning nearly 35 years). The agents rescue Olivetti, complete their mission, and are celebrated when they return home. However, their mission, the chips, and the prisoner may not be what they seemed. When secrets are revealed loyalties will be quickly tested.
The action scenes are a treat thanks to some exceptional cinematography. Even with the short runtime and essential plot/dialogue, there are still plenty of explosions, chases, and confrontations. The musical score beautifully complements the action and story. The actors are in fine form, including Bradley Stryker (“iZombie”, “Cold Pursuit”), Francesco Pannofino and Becky Ann Baker (“Hunters”, “Freaks and Geeks”), as they create interesting characters, some of whom are morally ambiguous leaving room for potential debate after the film. The only other gripe I might have is the ending feels rushed and tries to trick the audience for only a few moments before the truth is quickly revealed.