Every day some 290 people are shot in America. Every day! That’s just insane. Around 90 of those die from their injuries. Every day!
Shot stars, and is produced by, Noah Wyle, whom you’ll remember best from the TV series ER. He and his wife, Sharon Leal (Supergirl (TV), Dreamgirls) are about to get divorced and meet up in a café to sign papers.
Upon leaving, they walk a few yards before stopping to argue, only for Wyle to be shot by Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Land).
We have just witnessed Lendeborg getting bullied after school and so his cousin is hooking him up (I believe that’s what the kids say) with a gun so he can protect himself.
Lendeborg takes the gun from his cousin, believing it to be empty, when it goes off in his hand and hits Wyle straight in the chest.
What follows is, what those in the medical profession call, the golden hour. That essential time to treat a bullet wound to ensure survival.
Unluckily for Wyle, the bullet doesn’t pass right through him but fragments, resulting in him being a wheelchair, possibly for ever.
Director Jeremy Kagan (The Sting II, Roswell), uses split screen to simultaneously show the lives of those affected by the shooting. We also get a lot of POV shots from Wyle as we experience what it’s like to go through, as much as someone can anyway.
This leads to us, for example, seeing a woman come barging into the ER room, where Wyle is lying, covered in blood, tubes sticking out of him, to ask if “now is a good time to talk about insurance”. This just seems madness.
We see the profound effect this has on his, and Leal’s, life. Things are really switched around when Lendeborg, who hasn’t been coping so well with what he’s done, manages to track the duo down and face them to apologise.
Kagan came up with the story with Anneke Campbell (Well Played (Short), Water And The City (Short)) and Will Lamborn (Holy Trip, ESP (Short)) fleshing out the script.
Whilst the movie comes in at just under an hour and a half, it feels slow. Even when Wyle is being rushed to the hospital by Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show (TV), Fools’ Gold) and treated by Xander Berkeley (The Walking Dead (TV), Terminator 2), the pace can’t be called quick.
Whilst I like that Kagan tries something different with the split screen effect, sometimes providing a trio of shots at once, it is actually a shame that he does.
It’s difficult to watch and the movie works so much better when it focuses on one thing at a time. The story of Wyle is also that much more interesting than Lendeborg who, it has to be said, it’s difficult to feel sorry for.
Shot is an innovative take on bringing a subject to the forefront of people’s minds. We should remember that the movie is aimed at making people aware of the shocking gun statistics America deals with every day.
Any movie that can make any headway were so many others have failed, is ok in my book.
Shot opens in select theaters, including Los Angeles and New York on Friday, September 22nd, 2017