As far as formats go, the current shortfilm trilogy laid out in actor Bryan Larkin‘s Dead End slate easily bodes as a viable proof of concept in different directions. The idea had always been a feature film, though current market evolution with such new age brands like snackable content platform, Quibi, certainly provides options for content creators if the viability proves sustainable going forward.
At twenty-minutes plus, each short exudes taut, contained intensity in story, action and drama, all in skillset that filmmaker Ross Boyask continues to apply to his craft for the latest of the shortfilm series, Dead End: Dead Man Walking. The globetrotting story that centers on Larkin in the role of grisled, tough and cunning Contractor keeps the pace going, following the events of the previous installment that now find him at an impasse with his handler (Rebecca Yeo).
Bodies are mysteriously turning up in a series of events that threaten to envelope the Handler’s investigation into Asia’s human trafficking network, and its elusive ringleader. Forced to lay low, Contractor returns to the Scottish Highlands, arriving at the rustic remote Scottish cabin home of father figure, Old Gun (Tony Greengrass). Settling down proves brief for Contractor though, as their respite fireside reunion suddenly jumpstarts a newer, deadlier game of survival.
A unique blend of Hong Kong international thriller and Scottish spy Western, Dead End: Dead Man Walking pulsates with its ambitious caliber and execution, layered with secrets, intrigue and traumatic revelations. Several characters return in addition to Julian Gaertner in the role of Young Gun, with London Rampage star Greg Burridge who plays a fast-moving sniper on the clock. Greengrass provides hearty levity and a touch of poignance to the development of our protagonist, revealing just a little more about the Contractor, who now finds himself with one more cross to bear in the aftermath of this new chapter.
Fitting and equally suited for an adaptable market in today’s entertainment world, Dead End: Dead Man Walking ups the ante in enthralling, dramatic and episodic fashion. Giving chase to powerful crimelords and henchmen armed to the teeth, Boyask’s contribution is a proper translation of a shared creative vision with frontman Larkin, and fellow Hybrid Films cohort, series exec producer Derek Newlands, which takes a glaring and consequential look at the fate of our anti-hero and his Handler, and foreshadows a chilling conclusion to a high-end, storied saga that is still far from over.