At twelve minutes, director Ben Whimpey’s latest foray into the action genre brings the kind of proof of concept that measures amply in its vision and storytelling. For this, we get a glimpse at an action hero we’re all pretty familiar with in The Proposal, efforted by actor, martial artist and producer Marc Natoli, and with writing that certainly benefits the story with an air of charm and wit.
Co-producer John Fallon, best known for helming thrillers like The Shelter and American Muscle, penned the script that introduces Natoli’s Mason Stone, a brooding, deep-voiced ex-special forces badass who’s done it all and killed ’em all with a bodycount to boot. Fear used to come dead last for him, if ever, but that was until the first few minutes of the short in which we meet Stone’s girlfriend, Emma, portrayed by Neighbors actress Kahli Williams.
Hence, the title, which is pretty self-explanatory before long – as is the McGuffin – as the crux of the film unfolds into one man’s deadly battle with a vengeful terrorists. This occurs about halfway into the shortfilm as Mason and Emma head to his office to make a pit stop.
The fight scenery isn’t too far off and neither are some of the quips and one-liners that will give you a chuckle in between. Narrating between select scenes for the suited affect, Natoli delivers both in fine form, particularly having serviced the fight choreography – performing both in fine form without the frills while Williams lends a bit more to the comedy in the third act as the damsel-in-distress in way this aspect of her character flips almost completely; It’s as fitting to the film’s romantic jest as you might expect and all the more fun to see play out.
Shortfilms are the best way to exercise a potential property in its applications, and I can definitely see The Proposal as something much more worthwhile in longer form if nutured properly. While Mason Stone is probably no different from most other protagonists with similar action hero tropes, he works just fine for the universe we get to sample from Whimpey and Fallon. More importantly, it puts Natoli on the map for all of us to be aware of, making The Proposal one worth accepting.
DIRECTOR: Ben Whimpey
Autralia, Canada. 2018 (12 min)
PRODUCERS: Antonio Raiola, Marc Natoli, John Fallon
SCREENPLAY: John Fallon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Juzzy Kane
CAST: Marc Natoli, Khali Williams, Christina Walls
Section: Sessió Especial Curts
Original language: English