In this tight three minutes, director Ross Ching has shown us a fleeting fragment of a much larger story, leaving the viewer with burning questions as to what came before and what happens next. That the openness of this world is felt through such a closed set is testament to the precision of the storytelling; rather than allowing 3 Minutes to be the choreography showoff it so easily could have been, the story shines.
Of course, the choreography is a pleasure to watch. If you recognise either lead, it is likely from their dancing prowess – both from the Step Up franchise, Harry Shum Jr. also an alumnus of Glee, Stephen Boss in unapologetic masterpiece Magic Mike XXL. Their moves are solid, selling the scene with strength and agility, gracefully incorporating their weapon of choice…
Lightsabers. Everybody wants one, and one of the reasons 3 Minutes got attention was that they’ve got some. Somewhere in the space between their use in Star Wars’ tame original trilogy and the CG-heavy prequels, you’ll find the action of 3 Minutes. The Rogue One of lightsaber duels, if you will. The lightsabers are only on display for one of the three minutes, but they are used to full force in that time. The sense of wonder at this weapon, and the power it possesses, is clear, but Shum and Boss’ characters quickly get over this for an epic standoff.
3 Minutes is an engaging and thrilling watch, with a smart visual style. Director of Photography Nathaniel Fu makes excellent use of the construction-yard confines and natural light, particularly in some of the wider shots which partially obscure the action. For all you aspiring filmmakers or budding enthusiasts, Ching has written a detailed blog on the production of 3 Minutes – well worth your time.
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CAST: Harry Shum Jr., Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Katrina Law, Thaine Allison
DIRECTOR: Ross Ching
WRITERS: David Adametz, Ross Ching
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Nathaniel Fu
PRODUCERS: George Wang, Don Le
SYNOPSIS: An action-packed short featuring Harry Shum Jr. and Stephen Boss in an exhilarating and deadly game of cat and mouse.