If you’ve been reading our content for a little while you’ll have noticed the film Chase pop up a few times. We first learned about the film when Fiona interviewed director Michael Matteo Rossi in LA last year. We were then given the exclusive first look at the film a couple of months later. Since its completion, the film has picked up a handful of award nominations at multiple film festivals and has won 4 awards so far, including ‘Best Action Film’ at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, Michael won the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, and Damien Puckler won ‘Best Actor’ at the Universe Multicultural Film Festival.
Chase (Damien Puckler) is a hitman forced to choose between his family or his job when his longtime friend Miles (Aries Spears) begins to test his loyalty by making things personal. We learn about Chase’s backstory through a series of narrated flashbacks, which really help build a picture of his character early on.
Puckler, who Grimm fans will recognise, has an incredibly intimidating screen presence as Chase, but during the scenes with his family, he is anything but. This role really demanded that duality to make the character believable, and Puckler manages to make it look easy. His scenes with Jessica Morris are touching but you can also feel the tension in the air as they discuss his work and their future. Whilst the cast as a whole play their characters well, Aries Spears deserves a special mention for his impressive performance as Miles, an unpredictable character who shouldn’t be underestimated.
Chase feels like the love child of Drive and You Were Never Really Here. It’s brutal, tense, and unpredictable with superb cinematography and a fitting soundtrack to boot. Jason Weary’s cinematography is one of the standouts of the film for me. The majority of the film is either spent inside a car or inside a house, but the use of lights and colours really brought a little extra something to scenes that could have easily been dark and dull. The action and fight scenes are well shot and choreographed, and whilst it would have been very easy to do so, the film avoids going over the top and spoiling a good thing.
Chase is a slow burner, but when it gets to the action you just want the punches to keep on coming. For some reason, I didn’t expect this film to have so much heart. I went in expecting an all-guns-blazing, typical revenge action film. Instead, what I watched was a genuine character-driven thriller that is smartly written and has a few surprises up its sleeve. With brilliant performances across the board from the cast and solid writing and direction for Rossi, I highly recommend giving Chase a chance if you can.
Chase will be available in the US on Amazon and iTunes from 14th May 2019.
Directed by: Michael Matteo Rossi
Cast: Damien Puckler, Jessica Morris, Aries Spears, Simeon Panda, Paul Duke, Skye Townsend, Rob Niter, Paul Duke
Release Date: 14th May 2019 (US)