Broken Mile can’t go the distance

Real-time, single-take Toronto thriller opens strong but just can't keep its energy up

BROKEN MILE (Justin McConnell). 82 minutes. Opens Friday (July 28). See listing. Rating: NN

Broken Mile is a real-time chase thriller shot in one continuous take, following a panicked man (Francesco Filice) and his ex (Caleigh Le Grand) around Roncesvalles late one night as they’re pursued by a man (Patrick McFadden) with unknown intent.

As gimmicks go, that’s not a bad one, and though writer/director Justin McConnell (Skull World, The Collapsed) opens strong, deftly establishing the stakes for its hero, he doesn’t have much in the way of follow-through, and ends up squandering his technical virtuosity with an undercooked screenplay.

A premise like this needs further complications to keep its energy up, and McConnell doesn’t offer any Broken Mile just spins its wheels for an hour, moving the characters from one location to the next like chess pieces, until the movie reaches its shrug of an ending. I admire the DIY spirit – he shot and edited the film himself as well – but McConnell really needs to let someone else write his next picture.

As a short film, this could have been an impressive stunt as a feature, it’s a waste of everyone’s time, including the cast’s.

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