Car Stealers [Christopher Guerrero, USA, 2018]
Car Stealers is an amusing comedy short film from director Christopher Guerrero. It primarily pokes fun (affectionately) at heist films such as Ocean’s Eleven (Steven Soderberg, USA, 2001) by parodying and exaggerating the genre’s conventions.
Car Stealers has a lot of fun at the expense of one of the foundational tropes of the heist genre, that of the crew of criminals who each have a special and unique skill. The protagonist is so good at picking locks she can do so just by looking at them, the crew’s hacker seems to only be there because he can read a map and one of these criminal masterminds is an adorable dog, with no one ever commenting on how odd this is.
Parody by exaggeration is pretty conventional as far as spoofs go but Car Stealers is consistently quite funny due to a clear knowledge of the type of films being lovingly mocked, as well as a game cast. As for the filmmaking itself, there is some interesting use of lighting in urban environments (which does help to make Car Stealers feel like one of the crime films its referencing) as well as solid camerawork.
Regrettably, the film is marred by poor sound mixing. Especially early on in the film, dialogue is drowned out by the music. Some scenes are better than others in this regard, which suggests a learning process, but it is still an unfortunate flaw that drags the film down in spots.
Car Stealers does have its imperfections but the core of the film does suggest the people behind it have the right comedic sensibilities to make this kind of parody. It’s a funny and sometimes charming film with a few technical faults.
‘Car Stealers’ was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.