Sixty Minutes

Sixty Minutes
Original title:60 Minuten
Director:Oliver Kienle
Running time:89 minutes
Release date:19 january 2024
A martial arts champion must attend his daughter's birthday party or lose custody of her, so he gives up a match and makes some serious enemies.

Mulder's Review

Sixty Minutes, the latest German action film on Netflix, ventures into familiar race-against-the-clock territory with a unique twist. Starring Emilio Sakraya as Octavio Bergmann, a mixed martial arts fighter faced with a critical decision between a high-stakes match and his daughter's birthday party, the film attempts to inject urgency into a relatively straightforward plot. Although it offers moments of intense action and physical prowess, the film leaves much to be desired on certain points, making it a mixture of thrills and missed opportunities.

The story centers on Octavio, nicknamed Octa, whose life takes a chaotic turn when he's faced with the ultimatum of getting to his daughter's birthday party within a strict 60-minute deadline. The ticking clock, prominently displayed on screen, constantly reminds Octa that his time is running out and that he risks losing custody of his daughter if he doesn't keep his promises. This is the starting point for a relentless chase through the streets of Berlin, where Octa must face not only the challenges of the clock, but also a host of adversaries determined to thwart his mission.

The film's premise is comparable to other timeline classics such as Run Lola Run and even the Tom Hardy film Warrior. However, Sixty Minutes struggles to achieve the depth of its predecessors, with a script that lacks character development and dialogue. Emilio Sakraya's physical performance is commendable for its ability to convey simple emotions, but it becomes clear that the film relies heavily on this aspect to carry the story.

Director Oliver Kienle's stylistic choices aim to impose a frenetic pace, with numerous fight sequences and a countdown that amplify the tension. However, Olivier Kienle's direction fails to achieve the dynamic flair found in recent action spectacles from the likes of Scott Adkins and other actioners of the same ilk. What's more, the film tends to take itself too seriously, missing the opportunity for a lighter approach that might have mitigated the implausibility of certain plot elements.

While the action sequences are certainly successful, the overall tone of the film tends to attenuate its emotional force. The film's potential is undeniable, and we can only emphasize the importance of masterful direction in drawing favorable comparisons with iconic action films. Despite its shortcomings, Sixty Minutes manages to deliver a moderate level of excitement as Octavio hurtles through Berlin, confronting adversaries and overcoming obstacles in order to fulfill his promise.

Sixty Minutes will appeal to fans of action-packed thrillers who can overlook its narrative flaws. Although it offers moments of intensity and a physically demanding performance from Emilio Sakraya, the film struggles to rise above its rudimentary plot structure and fails to strike the perfect balance between seriousness and silliness. As a basic action film, it fails to stand out from the genre, leaving viewers with a taste of excitement but also a desire for more depth and creativity.

Sixty minutes (60 Minuten)
Directed by Oliver Kienle
Produced by Philip Koch, Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann, Maximilian Vetter 
Written by Philip Koch, Oliver Kienle
Starring Emilio Sakraya, Dennis Mojen, Florian Schmidtke, Paul Wollin, Alain Blazevic, Livia Matthes, Harry Szovik, Ludger Bökelmann, Balázs Megyeri, Szabolcs Kelemen, Árpád Antolik
Music by Michael Kadelbach
Cinematography : Markus Nestroy
Production companies : W&B Television, Nocturna productions
Distributed by Netflix
Release date : January 19 2024
Running time : 89 minutes

Viewed on January 19, 2024 (Netflix)

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