Night Job

Rated: Not Rated

        When I first read the description for the recent film Night Job by J. Antonio, it brought Four Rooms to mind. In Four Rooms the desk manager of a hotel has odd brush-ins with four guests over the course of New Year’s Eve. As in Four Rooms, Night Job is about a doorman who has brush-ins with the residents of the building throughout the night shift. Granted Four Rooms goes in entirely different directions than Night Job, but once I’d made the mental connection it was hard to shake.
Night Job is a story about James, and his first time working the night shift as a doorman in a building in Manhattan. Throughout the night he has encounters with all sorts of disgruntled, weird, crazy and downright unique people.
        The film is the first from filmmaker J. Antonio, but is missing most of the little quirks that would indicate such. Shot in black and white, scenes of New York City at night remind us what’s going on just outside the apartment building’s doors. The jazz background music does well to tie the whole thing together and give it a very noir feel.
        Jason Torres is perfect as the hapless hero in the film. He skillfully encapsulated the feeling of being new on the job while dealing with things as best he could, all with a smile on his face. His portrayal of the down-on-his-luck nice guy felt authentic enough to be real life, making the character’s believability complete.
        The only thing about this otherwise delightful little film that bugged me was the ending. Not that I want to go giving anything away, but the ending itself felt a little too much like an 80’s sitcom. I almost expected a laugh track to kick in, which cast an overly lighthearted shadow on a film that had, to that point, been more darkly comedic. It almost felt as if J. Antonio was making fun of his own film. I don’t know how I would’ve ended it, or if whatever I would come up with would be better at wrapping the story up, but I expected a little more than what was given for an ending.
Night Job is a solid first offering from writer/director J. Antonio. In a world where many a filmmaker’s first films are poorly done shorts that look more like projects from a high school videography class, J. Antonio has done well to avoid those hiccups. I’m not sure what comes next for him, but it will definitely be worth paying attention to what this ambitious first time filmmaker does next.

Night Job is not rated, was written and directed by J. Antonio and stars Jason Torres, Greg Kritikos and Timothy J. Cox. Find more information about Night Job and J. Antonio here:

  • Timothy J. Cox on IMDB