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‘Tin Can’ review: Unintentionally topical sci-fi filled with visual flair

Not another Covid movie.

Tin Can presents the type of scenario that was an interesting what if before Covid and has become all too relatable since. Fret (Anna Hopkins) wakes up to find herself trapped in a small metal chamber. She frantically works to escape from the cell not only to save herself, but all of humanity. 

A few years ago it would have sounded like a science fiction premise and that is certainly the best way to categorize Tin Can. But deadly plagues, a desperate search for a cure, and being confined are things everyone understands now. The question becomes is this another tiresome Covid movie or an engrossing watch? 

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Tin Can uses excellent camerawork to heighten the claustrophobic feeling. There is a sense of desperation and anxiety the entire time. The use of the cold and linear shots  common in the genre are found here. Stylistically, it looks good while adding to the cramped feeling. 

Hopkins provides a strong performances that adds to the tension. Despite spending the majority of Tin Can trapped in an enclosed space, Hopkins brings a sense of frenzy. The idea is interesting by default and the film is very timely, but it is the acting that will draw audiences in. 

'Tin Can' review: Unintentionally topical sci-fi filled with visual flair

Regrettably, the story is not as consistent. Tin Can gets off to a strong start that is engrossing and a little frightening. The use of flashbacks is a little jarring at times, but they also add to the chaotic feel. The film’s subplot takes away more than it adds, however. It feels tacked on while also requiring the full attention of the audience. 

Despite some narrative missteps, the movie is a fine addition to the single location sub-genre. Tin Can has an arresting visual flair along with a strong performance. Director Seth A. Smith did not intend for his film to be a Covid movie, but  it has ended up becoming one of the better ones.

Tin Can comes to select theaters August 5, On Demand August 9, and Blu-Ray September 6


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