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‘One Shot’ is the newest action-packed thriller you need to see

Joel Searls Avatar

James Nunn has directed One Shot to start off with a bang and continues his increase of the throttle in this muscle car of a film right down to the nitty, gritty climax! Nunn’s passion for storytelling, creative direction and willingness to push himself beyond his comfort zone is on full display in this film of one continuous shot that has a double entendre for Navy SEALs as many times they only have one shot to hit their target. In the vein of Birdman (Alejandro G. Iñárritu) and 1917 (Sam Mendes), Nunn grabs the audience’s attention right from the get-go in the helicopter as we are introduced to the SEALs who are making their way to the military prison from which to extract their target. The team lands at the prison in a European/British correct Lynx helicopter decked out in Royal Army livery and then, within a few minutes since landing the nearly 90-minute fight ensues for the base, their lives and a specific terrorist.

One Shot was released in theaters and on streaming platforms November 5.

SYNOPSIS: In an effort to prevent a terrorist attack on Washington D.C., an elite squad of Navy SEALs led by Lt. Jake Harris (Scott Adkins) and a junior CIA analyst Zoe Anderson (Ashley Greene) must retrieve a detainee from a CIA black site island prison. Tensions flare as Site Manager Jack Yorke (Ryan Phillippe) refuses to release the suspected terrorist based solely on Anderson’s intel, but when the base comes under attack by waves of insurgents, they must band together to complete the mission.

The SEAL team with  CIA Analyst Zoe Anderson departing from the Lynx. Photo courtesy of One Shot.

The pacing is superb and the actors display the eventual fatigue as the continued combat sets in. The film draws upon such great siege films as Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks), Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, John Carpenter) and even Escape from New York (another Carpenter great). It has a likable and threatening antagonist in Jess Liaudin who portrays Charef, a French-Algerian mercenary for hire, who is as deadly with a weapon as he is with his persuasion skills. Equally as good is the supporting cast with Terence Maynard as Tom Shields and Waleed Elgadi as Mansur, the coveted terrorist being held on the base. Both have moments of direct intensity, emotional honesty, and turn in credible performances.

Liaudin and Adkins fighting over the last MRE. Courtesy of One Shot.

The realism, effects, fight choreography and military skills displayed in the film make it transcend the screen to being right in your own consciousness. Not a detail is missed and the characters react within the situation with plausible actions and behaviors. I found myself glued to the screen and enjoying every minute of the ride. One Shot gets 3 1/2 out of 4 Red Star Clusters in my book! Worth the watch and even more the time spent on planning out the production, which is subtle but apparent in the creative uses of its limited size and location, as it was filmed during COVID in early 2021. Masterful work has been done and looking forward to Nunn’s next film.

Adkins and Nunn in the moment. Photo courtesy of One Shot.

The film was shot at RAF Bentwaters, which has since been deactivated since the end of the Cold War. RAF Bentwaters is famous for UFO sightings in the 1950s (Lakenheath-Bentwaters incident) and the 1980s (Rendlesham Forest incident) and has since become known as “England’s Roswell.” There were jet fighters and nuclear weapons housed at the site back when it was active up until the early 1990s.