A tedious heist movie where, not surprisingly, things go wrong for our would-be bank robbers

Heist thrillers are one of the more tired genres being produced today. Most big-budget heist films cover that up with a large amount of slick action. It is hard coming up with anything original in a formula that has been attempted again and again to mixed success over the years. Rookie director Jay Martin makes a couple of common mistakes in 7 Minutes, one of the more contrived heist movies seen in recent memory. Having made his name directing music videos, Martin gets overly flashy telling a heist-gone-wrong story. Luke Mitchell does everything he can as the main character to save this film but it ultimately ends up being a tedious bore.

He’s a few years out of high school and Sam (Luke Mitchell) is down on his luck. The former star quarterback is working a dead-end factory job and even loses that job. Sam also has a baby coming due with his girlfriend Kate. Looking for quick cash, he plans to rob a local business with his brother Mike (Jason Ritter) and best friend, Owen. 7 Minute’s needlessly complicated narrative structure tells each of their stories as they rob this business. The title of the movie supposedly refers to the length of time they’ll need to pull the heist off before police show up.

Luke Mitchell deserves better material than 7 Minutes… He’s a star waiting to happen.

The number of contrivances needed to propel the relatively short 83-minute film forward are staggering. It is a thriller built on several dumb, naive characters. 7 Minutes does a credible job building Sam up as a likable protagonist, though I suspect that is all due to Luke Mitchell’s performance. Coming off a starring turn on the failed CW series The Tomorrow People and a stint on Agents of SHIELD, Luke Mitchell deserves better material than 7 Minutes. Someone find him a good script. He’s a star waiting to happen. The rest of the cast, including nominal lead Jason Ritter, give perfunctory performances. It was nice seeing Kris Kristofferson make a small cameo, however limited his role.

Written and directed by Jay Martin, his debut is marked by a classic rookie mistake. The entire film is over directed in a tricky narrative style. Heavily told in a flashback structure, Martin may have realized the paper-thin story lacking action needed something extra to grab viewers. What starts out as vaguely promising becomes tedious when more and more random characters are introduced. They weigh down the script with unnecessary sidebars.

7 Minutes is a low-rent thriller only made watchable by Luke Mitchell. The ridiculous small-town heist at its core is disposable material that will be forgotten soon after the film is over.

Movie ★★☆☆☆

Planning @ 21:13

7 Minutes shines in this pristine Blu-ray presentation. You may question its entertainment value but the video is top-notch stuff. Starz presents the 83-minute main feature in a perfect AVC video encode on a BD-25. Averaging 22.41 Mbps, the 1080P video is shown at its proper 2.40:1 aspect ratio.

The strong video contains outstanding definition and clean clarity. Favoring a neutral color palette, flesh-tones are rendered perfectly natural. The unfiltered video has excellent detail. Close-ups exhibit fine high-frequency content down to the pores. Stable black levels and a consistent contrast make for a pleasing videophile experience.

7 Minutes looks great for a movie hitting direct to video. The heist thriller eschews any kind of strong color grading, allowing sharp digital cinematography to breathe on Blu-ray. Its clean, natural appearance possesses razor-sharp clarity.

Video ★★★★★

The included 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack for 7 Minutes is on the disappointing side for a supposed action thriller. Dialogue is clean and sound effects are heard in perfect fidelity, but I’ve heard far more active mixes and sound design for something in this genre. There are moderate amounts of panning to the surround cues but bass is rather light. This is not the action-heavy mix I was expecting given a bank robbery being depicted. Effects lack the serious punch and weight heard in better home soundtrack mixes.

Starz provides optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles in white. The subs remain inside the widescreen presentation at all times.

Audio ★★★☆☆

Starz includes a couple of interesting special features, though their value will depend on how much you enjoyed the film. The three trailers all play before the main menu.

Linear Heist (17:44 in HD) – This is the complete edit of the trio’s bank heist, told in a linear manner from beginning to end. In the film proper, these scenes were cut up between flashbacks.

Storyboards To Scene (08:44 in HD) – Four scenes run as their primitive storyboards run in a window beneath them. I’ve seen more detailed storyboards before. The storyboards aren’t followed identically, it appears some changes were made while filming.

Any Day Trailer (01:48 in HD)

Bad Turn Worse Trailer (01:55 in HD)

Just Before I Go Trailer (01:49 in HD)

Extras ★★☆☆☆


Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.

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