Stephen Fingleton’s “Nightride” is indebted to a wealthy custom of nocturnal, neon-lit crime thrillers set behind the wheel of an outlaw’s vehicle, starting with Walter Hill’s 1978 basic “The Driver” and persevering with via Michael Mann’s 1981 heist flick “Thief” and Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 throwback “Drive.”
As if to make these connections even clearer, in an early scene a drug-dealing Ph.D. candidate referred to as Scholar (Ciaran Flynn) is talking to his provider, Budge (Moe Dunford), and holding forth on the brilliance of Mann, who additionally directed the 2006 movie “Miami Vice.” Scholar believes that “Miami Vice” is “the apex of Mann’s post-celluloid filmography.” However the Mann image that “Nightride” most resembles might be “Collateral,” which equally issues an all-night felony odyssey and takes place primarily inside a automotive. Had Fingleton included a hacker as a personality, we may have had a little bit of “Blackhat,” too.
The plot of “Nightride” is little greater than an meeting of inventory sorts: the criminal attempting to go clear (Dunford), the mortgage shark feared for his vicious reprisals (Stephen Rea), the well-meaning girlfriend who turns into endangered when the massive rating goes fallacious (Joana Ribeiro). Its distinguishing function is that the motion unfolds in actual time, in a single (seemingly) steady 90-minute take, as Budge, the drug-runner performed by Dunford, cruises round Belfast attempting to tug off one final job.
The one-take gimmick — a lot simpler to realize now because of digital cameras —has turn into widespread sufficient that it barely qualifies as novel, having been utilized in “Birdman,” “Victoria,” and “1917,” amongst many others. As in these films, there’s a type of “Look, Ma, no palms!” bluster to this method that smacks of needlessly displaying off, calling consideration to the aptitude of the filmmaker on the expense of the characters and the story. It’s value noting that whereas Mann’s crime movies are aesthetically luxurious, the pictures are all the time in service of the concepts — not the opposite method round.