When a burned out and bored taxi driver picks up a troubled character late at night on Christmas Eve, he just wants the night to be over. However, as the night goes on, the taxi driver becomes more intrigued and even concerned about the nature of his passenger’s journey. He tries to engage the passenger in conversation, but this is mostly unsuccessful. Will he be able to get through to him before it’s too late?
Production Quality (2.5 points)
As an early film from Vertical Church, The Ride demonstrate production efficiency and quality, even in a shorter film. Even before The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, this church has been committed to high quality films. This is evident in this film’s great video quality, audio quality, and camera work. The soundtrack is also creative. Sets, locations, and props are appropriate for the film. The only nitpick to point out here pertains to the editing, as there are a few dead scenes that stand out in the short film. But this isn’t much to notice, and this film is presented in a very professional fashion.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Though sometimes it is better to make a short film for a small idea, it is possible that The Ride is one instance in which this was not the case. It seems like there was more content that could have been included in this plot, especially since the two main characters that are focused on are fairly well developed. This is done through efficient dialogue that builds their backstories realistically. The circumstances therein are believable and realistic. Both serious and comedic moments are presented effectively. However, as previously mentioned, we really wanted to see more from these characters, and perhaps other ones as well. Moreover, it seems like this plot was written to be a short film, which is perfectly fine. On the whole, this story shows just what Dallas Jenkins is capable of.
Acting Quality (3 points)
Rather than settle for only using inexperienced cast members from the local church, Dallas Jenkins and his team cast more experienced actors for the main roles. Kirk B.R. Woller and Brad Heller are excellent in their respective roles. This is possibly Brad Heller’s best role outside of Mom’s Night Out. Overall, though this is a tiny cast, there are no acting errors to point out here.
Sometimes starting out small is better. Dallas Jenkins made feature length films before this one, like Midnight Clear and What If, yet the former of these was not very good. It’s possible that with the creation of short films, Dallas and his team were able to hone their skills better and produce a much better film in The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. Moreover, as it is, The Ride demonstrates a lot of positive aspects that will make it an enjoyable film for many people this holiday season.
Final Rating: 6.5 out of 10 points
Lesson 1 in how to make a subtle film. Never outright state the film is a parable. Not only is that not subtle, but it gives the impression that the audience is stupid and have to be outright told everything. And when you want to convert people (if that’s even why the film was made) and you insult the audience, it isn’t because they’re immoral or stupid or “worldly”. When you insult somebody, they simply don’t want to listen to you. That’s simple psychology.
Huh??? I thought this short film was actually pretty good!
Well, it could be argued that the Brad Heller character is a picture of all of us before we are saved, since it is a parable. Nonetheless, you are entitled to your opinion 🙂