Directed by: Ren Thackham
Written by: Ren Thackham
Length: 6 minutes
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Ask someone in their late twenties or older about the movie 'Groundhog Day', and most of us will smile. During it's box office run it didn't do all that great but afterwards, it began clocking itself into the cult status genre. Maybe it was nothing new in concept, but I firmly believe it is the grandfather of all time slip titles. The first movie I think of when someone says time travel or time loop. Except maybe the 'Back To The Future' trilogy. They were all smart and amusing titles. Much like Ren Thackham's 'Round Trip' adventure. For the newer generation of paradox loving movie buffs, as well as us older folks, this will probably be six minutes considered extremely well spent.
What's it all about? Lets just say that transporting a criminal can be hard enough, but what do you do when you're essentially ran off the road en route? In the middle of nowhere desert land at that? What do you do if you're the constable? What do you do if you're the con? Ned Williams (Lee Priest) knows. You do whatever you can to escape. He even goes so far as to inform Constable Rose (Danny Bolt) he was planning just that. When least expected. Only now, there is nowhere to go - and something strange is going on. The 'strange' is getting easier to spot, and the already unstable Ned is quickly becoming unhinged. By the time he figures out just what's up and realizes there's more than just deja vu going on - it's too late. The cycle has started again and history is repeating itself. It's classic 'Groundhog Day' for cops and robbers leaving only one real question. Can they get out?
'Round Trip' is a perfect example of a good script that was brought to screen by some talented people. Micro budget you ask? Perhaps it is. But you would never know from watching it. Featuring some great cinematography and a very slick edit, 'Round Trip' forces those watching to see things exactly the way Ren Thackam wants them to see things. It's all very calculating and does the job when you consider the nature of the content. Bolt and Priest, as our two antagonists, present two sides of one very cliche coin. The good guy and the bad guy. They perform excellently but the real trick here is that the characters themselves don't really matter. It's the third character who does all the legwork. Father time - who clearly has had a little too much to drink. That sits just fine with me. This title is as trippy as a balloon man in a soap factory. Also just as fun.
From paper to color, casting to credits, 'Round Trip' was a hoot. The poster boy for a smart script turned film - with very little cash. One of those rare micro titles I actually wish was longer. Filling a longer movie surely would take a lot more scripting work. Yet I think it's safe to say that Ren Thackham would be up to the task. If this title is any indication that is. Thumbs up. That was fun.