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The Independent Critic

Directed by
Spencer Jambor
Written by
Spencer Jambor (Story), Eric La Barr (Dialogue), Brendan Burns (Narration)
Eric La Barr, Brendan Burns, Spencer Jambor
Running Time
8 Mins.

 "Subway Sam" Review 
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In a small world a loner assassin is held up at gunpoint by his intended target...

Subway Sam
opens quietly against the backdrop of a lit up urban setting, one man clearly on a mission seemingly oblivious to the world that surrounds him. As the film spirals towards its climax, director Spencer Jambor keeps that lack of attachment front and center as our game of cat-and-mouse takes on mysterious shades.

The film's consistency in dialogue, design and tone likely comes courtesy of its trio of co-stars including director and co-writer Jambor along with fellow co-writers Eric La Barr and Brendan Burns. While the story itself is deceptively simple, Jambor scores major kudos for Subway Sam's sense of style, excellent camera work and a production design that is better than one usually finds in low-budget indie shorts.

The dialogue maintains the film's sense of detached coolness, focusing almost exclusively on the mission of our would be assassin without regard for the world that surrounds him. While the action at times moves a bit slowly, it feels as if this is an intentional choice to project the single-minded focus in this smaller than expected world.

In a film filled with so much style, it's arguable that the performances feel rather secondary in Subway Sam. While our trio of actors perform quite fine, Subway Sam centers more around the world in which they exist than the characters themselves. Character development is essentially each character's role within our mystery unfolding, complete focus going to the event that is unfolding rather than the characters who are involved. While this approach creates less a sense of an attachment, it works well within the film's constructed detachment.