Tribeca Film Festival Review: The 716th

Imagine if Hawkeye and Honeycutt worked in Space. Those were my first impressions of the pair of medics at the start of The 716th — a short film in the Into the Void category of the 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival.

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In 14 fast-paced minutes we meet this pair of wisecracking, green-booze swilling guys (Andrew Bowen and John Asher) getting through their grind, when word of two abandoned soldiers comes through. Throwing rules and caution (and their pensions) to the wind, our hero (Bowen, who also wrote, directed and co-produced) hops aboard an unarmed transport vehicle to rescue the stranded duo (Lauren McFall and Taj Speights) — who are being surrounded by unnamed baddies on a planet we’ve never heard of.

This lack of specifics and the use of hyper-jargony space talk lends even more humor to the dialogue, reminding us of how we’ve all come to accept that a tachyon pulse is a thing.

The 716th is up for acquisition as an episodic series, and boy, I can’t wait! It’s easy to imagine these moments as the scenes between the last commercial break and the end credits, especially when in the final seconds we learn that the beautiful and badass McFall may not be who she seems.

Productions values were high, and our two medics were instantly likable, bringing that 4077th vibe to the 716th without beating us over the head with it.

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