Movie Review: ‘Shot’

Review by Mark Merrell

Shot is a very powerful, thought provoking film.

Mark (Noah Wyle, ER, Falling Skies, Donnie Darko, Pirates Of Silicon Valley) is a sound editor, living in Los Angeles, California. He works long hours, weekends, practically married to his job. His estranged wife, Phoebe (Sharon Leal, Dreamgirls, Boston Public, Why Did I Get Married?, Guiding Light, Supergirl) is a psychologist.

Miguel (Jorge Lendeborg, Jr, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Land, Brigsby Bear, The Land, Graceland) is a seventeen year old. He’s been picked on and bulled. Living with his mom and brother, their family is struggling to get by.

The movie opens in the old West, as cowboys start shooting at each other. The camera pulls back, and we realize Mark is at a mixing board editing sound for the western on the screen. His employers like his work, but they want him to hurry and finish the job. It’s Friday, and with the amount of work yet to finalize, he realizes he will be there all weekend. Phoebe texts Mark, and wants to meet.

The scene shifts to Miguel. He’s getting hassled in a park. Pushed to the ground by a group of kids, he’s completely frustrated and tired of being picked on. They finally let him go, and he gets up, brushing himself off.

Phoebe and Mark meet in a restaurant. Mark tells her he has to work all weekend, which doesn’t surprise her. She has a divorce decree for him to sign. Desperate to stay together, he tries to convince her they should remain married. She obviously has feelings for Mark, but doesn’t want to be married anymore. After talking it over, they began to walk down the street to their cars. Nearby, Miguel has decided to buy a gun from his cousin to defend himself. A nice kid, who is a bit soft spoken, he has never handled a gun.
Just as Mark and Phoebe walk nearby, (a large fence separates them) his cousin hands him the weapon. It accidentally fires. Mark is instantly hit in the chest with the bullet. He falls to the ground, as Phoebe try’s to help him by putting pressure on the wound, while a stranger calls 911. A crowd gathers, as they wait for an ambulance.

The movie begins to utilize a split screen at times, and at others is focused solely on Mark, Miguel, or Phoebe. While Mark lays on the sidewalk, Miguel and his cousin quickly split up. The film then becomes real time with its characters. Miguel is not sure if he is being pursued, and is on the run. Mark is struggling to stay conscious as the paramedics arrive, and his odyssey to stay alive continues as he is rushed to the hospital.

Directed by Jeremy Kagen (Rosewell, The Chosen, The Sting II, The Journey Of Natty Gann) he skillfully guides the audience through the simultaneous thoughts, feelings, and panic all of the characters are dealing with. The scenes of Mark in the ambulance and at hospital are extreme, realistic, and very effective.

Written by Anneke Campbell (The ACLU Freedom Files, Well Played, Water and the City), Will Lamborn (Holly Trip, Out Of Nowhere, ESP) and Kagen, they present a compelling perspective of shootings from the victim, their loved ones, and the perpetrator.

The acting by the entire cast is first rate. Some familiar faces, including Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show, Malcom & Eddie, Fool’s Gold, Lethal Weapon, Tou Can’t Hear Me, Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce) as EMT Jones, Xander Berkeley (The Terminator 2, Gattaca, Taken, Air Force One) as Dr Roberts, Elaine Hendrix (Joan of Arcadia, The Parent Trap, Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion) as Nurse Marci, Eve Kagan is Nurse Gina (The Notebook, By the Sword) Joy Osmanski (The Loop, Devious Minds, Applecart, Santa Clarita Diet) as Nurse Samantha, and Sarah Clarke (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, 24, Bosch) playing Dr Fisher (among many additional actors) add up to a flawless cast.

The movie is difficult at times for a reason, and it’s message, along with its delivery is excellent, and very effective. I highly recommend watching, Shot.

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