McNeil Minute Reviews | The Martial Artist

A Solid Comedic Effort

The Martial Artist is a comedy short produced by the likes of Get It Made. It's a short comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously, made by those who clearly have a reverence for Asian cinema, and for those who want to give their audience a little laugh. Where the comedy short really succeeds is its clever editing, apart from the obviously very fun and funny script. The short also required actors who were going to have good comedic timing and instincts, which they did. The film is quite brief, but effective all the more because of that. Let's take a closer look as to why this comedy short worked so well.

The Editing

As I alluded to earlier, the clever editing really added to the overall success of this comedy short. The way that it jumps with its cuts without giving us whiplash and its use of slow-mo was really effective and made the comedic moments land. We also knew exactly where we were geographically thanks to the editing being so effective and efficient. The short could have been too jumpy or shoddy with its editing, but luckily it was smooth and worked. The use of slow motion was probably the funniest moment in the whole short and was so well placed. Moving from close up to wide, and giving us smooth transitions into the action sequence was exactly what the doctor ordered in this one. I was impressed with how smooth and legible the editing was, and I believe that's what made this short succeed at such a high level.

The Script

Once again, scripts are so important when dealing with any genre of short, but particularly with comedy. It's difficult to have a funny short if you don't have a good script, even if it's situational and you just let the comedy play out. This script knows exactly what it is: it's not overly flashy but it has a conceit or a gimmick and it plays to that so well. Once we're in it, we can kind of tell where it's going, but it's still incredibly comedic nonetheless. The jokes don't always land, and perhaps that's on the delivery, but the situational humor is quite funny and the scenes/action play out so well that it works. The script plays out exactly as it's meant to: a nice way to kill 3 minutes, but enjoy yourself while you do it.

The Performances

I've said it before and I'll say it again: comedic projects most of the time boil down to acting. Shorts or features (or what have you) that are meant to be comedic can only succeed if the actors have great comedic timing and instincts. These actors clearly have either had a background in comedy, or just simply have a knack for it. I was quite impressed with each comedic performance, of course some are better than others. In any case, this comedy short succeeds on the backbone of the portrayals of the characters and their comedic acting landing. Thankfully we had comedic actors who knew what they were doing and were either proficient or at the very least, sufficient.

The Verdict

Overall, this is a solid comedy short which succeeds due to the filmmaking around it, the script, and the acting. I was quite impressed with the editing of this short, particularly with the action sequence, the use of slo-mo, and the smooth cuts and transitions. The script was also funny enough for this thing to really fly, and the actors came through with good comedic performances. As stated, this little project is a nice way to kill 3 minutes and have a joyous time while you do it. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am a huge fan of what Get It Made produces and I am eager to see what they will do next.


Rating: Decent


The Martial Artist is a Get It Made production which can be found on their website, YouTube, and the screenplay is available on their site for reading as well. The link to the film can be found here.

Rob McNeil

My name is Rob McNeil. I was born and raised in Normal, Illinois and I am a 28 year-old award winning screenwriter. I am very passionate about film, so much that I watch far too many films on a daily basis. I have written fifteen feature screenplays, a spec pilot thriller series, and several short scripts. I aim to make filmmaking a career, but for now, I will write about it.

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