Nightride does not try to impress audiences with its premise. Budge (Moe Dunford) is a drug pusher whose girlfriend (Joana Ribeiro) wants him to quit his dangerous – and illegal – job. Budge agrees to stop, but not until he has completed one last deal. As expected, things do not go smoothly and Budge must race against time or else his last deal will take on a different meaning.
Of course, there are plenty of stories that have used a familiar framework. Director Stephen Fingleton does not just rely on “last heist gone wrong” tropes in Nightride. For starters, the thriller is a one shot affair. This immediately amps up the tension. The audience is not just following the action; they are in the seat with Budge as he tries to make things right.
Dunford carries Nightride with his harried portrayal. While this is by necessity since the camera is with him the entire time, it does not take away from the strength of his performance. There is a sense of urgency in everything that he does. This ensures that audiences stay engaged the entire time.
This is the most difficult part of a one shot film. While it is neat to see in individual scenes, it can be tiring over the course of a full movie. There comes a point where it risks taking away from the actual plot and becoming a gimmick. Fingleton avoids the stylistic traps by adding comedy or increasing the suspense at the time right times. Nightride is an exhausting watch that never becomes tedious.
Nightride comes to select theaters and on demand March 4
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