Two-Minute Heist: Why (Some) Independent Cinema Stinks...

Two-Minute Heist: Why (Some) Independent Cinema Stinks...

While Kevin Smith is busy attempting to keep independent cinema alive and truly independent, the folks behind Two Minute Heist seemed to have been engaged with raking together the most trite and two-dimensional characters possible in order to comment upon the difficulty of making it in Hollywood.

Introducing the film and its assorted players, a well worn comic book aesthetic is adopted as transition from scene to scene is occasionally rendered in ink and color. The problems arising from this particular approach are two pronged. Firstly, there’s no direct correlation between the comic book medium and the film here. While various narratives in sundry comics might detail heist schemes, there’s nothing tying these would-be Hollywood types to, let’s say, the Marvel Universe. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the comic transitions are frequently absent for sizable portions of the film’s run time making their reappearance jarring after twenty minutes without and drawings being tossed up on screen.

Regardless, after the filmmaker dudes and our protagonists work on some project that flops, the pair’s required to pay back its investors, in this case those investors are tough guy Jamaican drug dealers. How and why the money was borrowed in the first place isn’t ever discussed. But that’s just one of the random dead ends in Two Minute Heist’s plot.

Working on a new project, the film’s protags land a director/financier who casts the next feature, runs a few rehearsals, but then just disappears. Despite problems with the film’s transitions, the proper arc of the story comes off as a bit lame – we’ll leave unbelievable out of it for now. But with each of the film within a film’s producers being embroiled in a romantic pairing involving members of their cast, it seems whoever wrote this feature ran out of ideas before even making it half way through the narrative, which is supposed to be pushed along by the male/female tension. Too bad there really isn’t any.

The plan to make everyone happy then becomes working up this faux-heist using actors as robbers and then using the retrieved funds to pay off the gangster types. Not an awful plan, but there wind up being a few too many odd question marks and boring moments. Granted the real life film makers, documenting the film within a film and this heist were simultaneously trying to say something about the Hollywood system themselves. Viewers just aren’t going to know what that is.