Our film begins with the introduction of officers Virginie (Virginie Efira), Erik (Gregory Gadebois) & Aristide (Omar Sy). The film’s introduction gives us a sneak peek at their personal lives and some of the drama each character is attempting to overcome. Right away, it’s evident Night Shift is a drama film. Soon, the Police Force announces a job involving an illegal immigrant being escorted from prison and safely dropped off at an airport. Our three leads have no interest in going home, so they raise their hands for the task.
But as the night shift for our three leading characters begins, reveals are made involving each officer’s personal life and the truth about the immigrant. Tension begins to grow as difficult choices must be made.
Performances in this film are pleasing. We see our officers dealing with the standard pressure of work-life and more profound stress relating to personal matters. Each actor carries this personal touch on-screen rather nicely, bringing convincing characters alive. These performances also remind the world that police officers also have emotional and personal problems.
But sadly, Night Shift’s pacing and plot are highly questionable. While character introductions are always appreciated, Night Shift takes a far longer approach, hurting the film’s setup and first act. The introduction of our leads has a runtime of over forty-five minutes! Some moments within the character introductions do give flattering details, but they also provide unnecessary elements.
With a title like Night Shift, I was surprised to see how long it takes until the film’s title and core plot comes into full effect. I found myself waiting for some excitement or something major regarding the plot to occur throughout, hoping it would move up at least one gear. Sadly, not a lot happens. Small amounts of tension begin to show, but this tension then fizzles in a matter of seconds. I could not help thinking this film missed many opportunities that could have made this movie more gripping and memorable.
Overall, Night Shift is filled with tremendous and convincing performances from all three leading actors. But sadly, the film also includes slow and dragged-out character introductions, which take up far too much of the film’s duration. The plot’s core is also filled with dull moments and missed opportunities. Based on the plot and premise, I prepared myself for something far more exciting than the end results I witnessed on the big screen. Available in Australian Cinemas from October 14th!