Burn (2022) 

A hitman who also plays driver for a mob boss’ wife learns that his brother has killed her leading to another hitman being put on the job of killing the brother.  

Written, directed, starring, and produced by Patrick Lazzara, Burn is a slow-moving mob/hitmen film where things are not as they seem. There is a lot in there and at the same time not enough. This may sound like it doesn’t make sense, but it does. Every character here has multiple things going on, but none of them really feel like they matter. There are plenty of characters. There are plenty of things going wrong, but the way they are developed leads all these things to mostly fall flat. As this seems to be a passion project given Lazzara’s multiple credits/hats, it’s a wonder why it comes off this way, but it does. Now, this is not all bad, there are a few nuggets of gold here and there, but the way the story is brought to the screen and how things move along at a fairly slow pace leads those nuggets of gold to get lost in the runtime. 

The performances here are decent, nothing amazing, but nothing bad either. They feel very fitting for the film in terms that they are middle of the road in most cases. Lead actor Lazzara gives the best performance of the bunch, giving the tone for the film. The rest of the cast follows, but some are not quite as on point as he is. Granted, he wrote the script and directed the film, so his performance should be the best of the group as it’s his project and he knows best what is needed here. The other cast members have talent, but some of them seem a bit off here and there with a few scenes that are bit more on the side of “but why” in terms of acting choices. 

On the positive side of things, the film looks good. It does show that the budget is on the low side, but the work by cinematographer Carlos M. Jimenez is good and often works well in cramped spaces like cars and smaller rooms. The lighting and framing help greatly here to showcase the story and the acting. Another good point is the editing by Eugene Gordon. Scenes are given enough time to do their thing, but also are cut at the right time to not overstay their need. The cinematography and editing really help the film look good and have a decent pace, making it an easier watch even when the story feels a bit slow. 

Burn definitely has the feel of a passion project, but one where the story feel a bit muddy. There is a lot in there, but not at the same time. The film looks good, really good even, and some of the performances are more than decent, but overall, the film feels a bit bland. This may be due to there being too many similar films out there. Yes, this one has a twist and a few extra elements to make it more unique, but overall, it comes off quite familiar and a bit on the bland side.