Another ho-hum slacker heist flick, 7 Minutes is about three former high school buddies from Washington State who stage a bank robbery that goes terribly wrong. Sam (the Australian actor Luke Mitchell) was the school football star with a college scholarship and a beautiful all-American cheerleader named Kate (Leven Rambin) ready to accompany him through life. Life tanks, and it’s downhill from there.
7 MINUTES ★
Written and directed by: Jay Martin
Three years later, he’s working in a machine shop with a dead-end future, and she’s a waitress in a Poverty Row shack with a baby on the way. The only way to make ends meet is to join his brother Mike (Jason Ritter) selling drugs. Mike is living just above the poverty level himself, with a wife and a baby he can’t support. Their friend Owen (Zane Holtz) has already served time for robbery to the sorrow of his father (Kris Kristofferson).
Joining forces with a vicious drug dealer, they mistakenly think a cop is following them, so Owen, who refuses to go back to lockup, dashes into a gas station and flushes $62,000 in cocaine down the drain. The dealer gives them 48 hours to come up with the money, or death. Together they hit on a foolproof plan to rob the bank. They plan it carefully. In and out in “7 minutes.” Then the plan goes south when one of the bank officers as well as another old schoolmate who is now a cop both recognize Sam.
People are killed and they’re set upon by sadistic thugs. Then the pregnant Katie gets kidnapped and Sam has to make decisions that will change his life forever. It gets nastier while the movie goes nowhere. The grittiest performance is by Kevin Gage, as a ruthless peripheral character named Tuckey. He comes to a tragic end, like almost everyone else, but he’s so demented you’re sorry to see him go.
Like most of today’s young directors who neither want to nor know how to tell an actual story in a traditional way with a beginning, middle and end, writer-director Jay Martin jumps around like a spastic colon. The film has no trajectory and it’s as hard to follow as a detour through quicksand. One character is alive one minute. The next minute it’s either three years earlier or three hours later. By the time the pieces come together, you forget where they fit. The morals of this twisted tale are “Don’t rob a bank in a town where everybody knows you” and “Don’t make a movie so many much more talented people have made already.”