SOPHIE’S FORTUNE: THE TREAUSRE OF QUETZALCOATL (2013)
Directed by: Chris Cronin
Produced by: Phil Meachem
Written by: Chris Cronin & Paul Thomas
Starring: Simon Hardwick, Donald Standen, Camercon Prudames, Steve McTigue & Elsa Busow
Now this is how you make a fun short film: thirty minutes of action soaked coolness with its tongue planted firmly in cheek all shot through like a blockbuster epic. Director Chris Cronin and his team of writers, actors, stunt people and effects artists cram so much action, fun and over-the-top imagination into Sophie’s Fortune it makes for a breezy and entertaining thirty minutes. In fact, imagination is the name of the game here as a group of dads throwing a birthday party let their imaginations run riot in their annual treasure hunt game leading to all kinds of gun play, fist fights and jungle based adventures. Thrust into the mix is newcomer Brendan (Hardwick) who has brought his niece Sophie (Busow) along to the party and promises to bring back the treasure just for her. Adapting quickly to the imagination-run-riot treasure hunt, Brendan finds himself put through his paces and fends off the other dads in a series of high-octane action scenes.
For a low budget film shot in the English countryside (effectively standing in for a jungle setting), Sophie’s Fortune does wonders with its premise becoming a sort of mini Indiana Jones adventure. Nicely shot to resemble blockbusters of the 80s and 90s with events and action scenes playing out in an un-fussy manner (meaning no silly camera shake nonsense or over editing craziness): Sophie’s Fortune is a refreshingly unpretentious affair. Adventure and action is the agenda here and once the dads run off into the woods to seek the treasure the action kicks into high gear. Featuring a nice and often non-stop mix of gunplay, fist fights and a ridiculous amount of explosions the action is varied, often creative and gets bigger and bigger as it progresses. With more than a hint of Indiana Jones, a little bit of John Woo and some high impact fights scenes, the makers of Sophie’s Fortune go for the action jugular and it doesn't disappoint. There is also a great gag when a bad guy turns up with a “Painless” style mini-gun ala Predator and proceeds to decimate everything in his path: awesome.
Speaking of gags (both funny and visual), the film packs in a few of these as well (in between all the action goodness) including a neat scene where the dads are running through the woods and transform into the heroes they perceive themselves to be (which you can preview here: https://vimeo.com/83441812) and a very funny bit where we see the kids watching all the action from the sidelines and, yep, wouldn’t you know it they are bored: despite all the carnage, chaos and stuff blowing up! Sure the CGI/green screen effects don’t always convince and the run time could have been a little longer to get to know the characters a bit better (and fit in a couple more action scenes!) but all in all Sophie’s Fortune is a blast. Well shot (it looks fantastic), well acted and with well choreographed action scenes this is a mini blockbuster hoot.
Check out the full trailer: