In a slightly advanced future, where surveillance techniques have reached a new high, an expert of the craft is hired to do a job. It sounds like a regular spying gig, but soon he finds himself trapped and starts to obsess about the person he is surveilling.
One of the first things you will notice about "Ninety Seconds" is that the concept is just as fit for a short film as it would be for a feature. It's a very worked through story, but not more-so than is required to fit the shorter runtime. They don't dive too deep into certain things and leave them pretty open at times, but ultimately it's rather solid. This means they could have worked more on it and developed a feature film, and I think it would've been just as good. On a personal level, with the characters in mind, a feature would have been to prefer as you would have gotten into it more. I think it would've gone through the same beats no matter the length, though. Which just goes to show that there are still people working hard on short films as well.
So what is it? It's a sci-fi mystery/thriller. Nothing too high-tech, but enough to put you in a near future. "Ninety Seconds" focuses specifically on surveillance and spying, and where that technology is in this future. When a surveillance expert is hired to spy on a woman, he's unaware that something is a bit off about the job. He becomes hooked on the woman and starts obessessing over her.
I think the way they worked in the obsession with paranoia was interesting, but I would've liked to have gone further with that. At times it felt like it just went to the borderline rather than stepping over it, which is where I quite often prefer seeing films end up. In the end it still works out and it achieves what I believe it set out to do. Without a doubt an interesting short.
The production is good. It looks great when it needs to and still saved its money when it didn't need to be extraordinary. On the other hand, the acting is strong from start to finish, with one of my new favorites Michael Parle in a role. I think "Ninety Seconds" will definitely please the fans of alternate futures dealing with corruption of sorts, even when it's on a smaller scale. In this instance it's the big brother concept - only compressed to one person's story.