THE OTHER HALF

5 out of 10

Release Date: 15th May 2006 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Richard Nockles & Marlowe Fawcett

Cast: Danny Dyer, Gillian Kearney, Jonathan Broke, Mark Lynch and Vinnie Jones

Writer:  Richard Nockles & Marlowe Fawcett

Trailer: THE OTHER HALF

THE OTHER HALF by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher

Unknown-4What could be a more topical film to review than The Other Half? True, it’s from 2005, but it’s a vehicle for Danny Dyer (THE HOOLIGAN FACTORY) (plastered across the tabloid front pages yesterday for an alleged indiscretion) and it’s about football (and there’s a World Cup tournament going on right now, though our England team have already bid their inevitably early farewell).

Seeing as it involves Danny Dyer and football, and has a (spectacularly awful) cameo from Vinnie Jones (STRENGTH AND HONOUR(as a ghostly / imaginary football manager of the mind) the designers of the DVD cover have weaved their usual magic. It’s black and white, with red for the England flag backdrop, the title and the blurb: ‘Just How Far Would One Man Go To Watch England Play?’ (Insert ‘not very far after watching them this week joke’ here.) The cover shows Dyer moodily mooching monochromatically, Jones hovering cluelessly / threateningly behind him. So they’ve clearly aimed this at the bizarrely affluent hooligan / gangster movie fanbase, which is quite funny really as it’s a good old-fashioned Hugh Grant-style romantic comedy.

Our Danny plays a football fan who has got tickets for England football matches in the big European tournament of 2004 in Portugal (one which England fans of the day seemed to believe was one that they might win). But then he gets married and he knows that he won’t be allowed to go so he organises a honeymoon in Portugal during football week. Will he get to the games? Will his marriage survive? Will it all be worth it? Well, it’s a romantic comedy so I think we know the answers already.

There are lots of problems.

Firstly Dyer’s character is even more of an idiot than usual. I can well understand him not telling his betrothed about the tickets, but we don’t really get any sense that she would disapprove. And the lengths he eventually does go to beggar belief, which means any sympathy we have for him is jettisoned, which makes the inevitable reconciliation a bit too easy.

And then there are the commentators. If you’ve seen that Rafe Spall sitcom where imaginary sport commentators are commenting on his every move then you know what they’re attempting here. Unfortunately they get it incredibly wrong. Every now and again two commentators turn up to commentate on the action, as if Dyer’s quest was some spectator sport. Although the two actors are very convincing as bad football commentators the film-makers think they’re side-splittingly funny. They are not. But for large chunks of the film we follow these two as they drive around Portugal being unfunny (I liked the bit with the onion though). Had they just popped up to deliver the occasional ‘goal!’ or ‘he didn’t see that coming!’ they might have worked. Instead they hijack the film to an embarrassingly bad extent.

And then there’s Mrs Dyer, played by Gillian Kearney (BROOKSIDE). She’s absolutely perfect except for one vital thing. For reasons unknown the film-makers decided that Danny had to marry an American. I guess there was meant to be some sort of culture clash thing but that peters out. Also petering out regularly is Kearney’s accent. She sounds Irish more often than American and Liverpudlian more often than Irish. Couldn’t they have just let her be Irish? It’s a shame because Kearney and Dyer make an excellent screen couple and it’s a problem that just needn’t have arisen in the first place. (Maybe Dyer should have been American?)

Fortunately there’s a lot that does work. Portugal is filmed beautifully, and the two leads are played with a lot of charm. The location filming involving England fans is particularly effective, and the absence of any actual football is cleverly masked. Although the film goes through the motions there’s a lot of incidental wit and inventiveness, and there are a few animated bits which presumably cover the bits the budget didn’t stretch to. And there is an almost frightening plausibility to Dyer’s character’s dumbness which I’m sure many football widows would recognise.

 The Other Half is probably an accurate reflection of the England Footballery Team: inconsistent, occasionally awful, sometimes bland yet redeemed by some good performances and it doesn’t outstay its welcome.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

UMBRAGE – THE FIRST VAMPIRE

2.5 out of 10

Release Date: 17th October 2011 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Drew Cullingham

Cast: Doug Bradley, Rita Ramnani, Jonnie Hurn, Natalia Celino, James Fisher, Grace Vallorani, Scott North and AJ Williams

Writer: Drew Cullingham

Trailer: UMBRAGE

umbragel

Umbrage start has an extremely strong opening.  The prologue featuring an ambush in a cowboy town by Irish cowboy, Phelan (JOHNNIE HURN – THE ZOMBIE DIARIES) that contains a brilliant set, fluid camera movements, excellent mood and atmosphere and nice physical performances.  It sets its stall out admirably and I really thought I was in for a treat. So the first three minutes aside, Umbrage falls catastrophically from grace as soon as any of the characters begin to speak.  The dialogue and knock-on effect to the plot are diabolical. Only horror veteran, Doug Bradley (TEN DEAD MEN) and Johnnie Hurn put in halfway good and committed performances, everybody else, is uniformly terrible. Yes, even the usually reliable Rita Ramnani (JACK FALLS) is left flailing with crap lines and a truly unsympathetic lead role.

After the initial set-up, showing how Phelan becomes a Vampire, we are brought up to modern day, rural Surrey, England.  Doug Bradley, his heavily pregnant new wife Lauren (GRACE VALLORANI – HE WHO DARES) and his step daughter, Rachel (Rita Ramnani) arrive at their new cottage. Meanwhile, terrible actors are camping nearby and they come into tragic contact with Lilith (NATALIA CELINO – DERANGED) as the world’s first vampire (she could even be Eve from the Bible).  One of the bad actors gets his dick bitten off, but the other talentless burk gets to hang around for much longer.  The survivors convene on Doug Bradley‘s cottage. This is when the film thunders to a monumental halt.  Killer shadows and the re-appearance of Phelan, via a spooky mirror promise to liven up proceedings but alas this is just boring and clunky.

The main plus (apart from the brilliant intro) is that the jacket designers of the DVD did not employ a proof reader. On the box it says that Umbrage has a running time of 2.5 hours long. Luckily it’s actually 1.5 hours long. It felt like it was on all afternoon though. I felt sorry for Doug Bradley, who actually leaves the cast standing with one of his largest and best roles in a while. He actually gets to play a real person and not Cenobite or a demon. As good an actor as he is, even he can’t make the dialogue ring true. Johnnie Hurn as the “good” vampire and possible saviour also puts in a decent performance.  Umbrage, however, is yet another example of how a decent concept has been nobbled by bad acting and a terrible script. Considering the time and effort that went into the prologue, it shows that the team behind this had the resources and ability to set up a convincing and decent scenario. Maybe future projects will see their budget expand to include talented actors and somebody with a good ear for dialogue.

2.5 out of 10 – Not the worst UK vampire flick of recent years, but this is yet another example of boring, badly acted and written horror that is rapidly filling our landfill sites or the dusty, crusty, BO scented shelves at Cex.

Review by Joe Pesci II below>>!> Oh oh!

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

MAY I KILL U?

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 3rd January 2013

Director: Stuart Urban

Cast: Kevin Bishop, Frances Barber, Jack Doolan, Hayley-Marie Axe, Kasia Koleczek, Ali Craig, Tyson Oba and Rosemary Leach

Writer: Stuart Urban

Trailer: MAY I KILL U?

SEE Joe Pesci II’s review below…

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Kevin Bishop: Chinese Puzzle, All StarsA Few Best MenKeith Lemon, The Kevin Bishop Show (TV), Muppets’ Treasure Island
  • Frances Barber: Dr Who (TV), Goal 2, Goal, Suzie Gold, Shiner, Photographing Fairies, Soft Top Hard Shoulder, Secret Friends, Young Soul Rebels, We Think The World Of You, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, Prick Up Your Ears, A Zed and Two Noughts, White City
  • Jack Doolan: It’s a Lot, Green Street Hooligans, The FacilityCockneys Vs. ZombiesDemons Never DieCemetery Junction
  • Ali Craig: Outpost 2
  • Tyson Oba: Offender
  • Rosemary Leach: Whatever Happened To Harold Smith?, The Hawk, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, A Room With a View,

TEN DEAD MEN

3 out of 10

Release Date: 27th January 2009 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Ross Boyask (Tower Of The Dead / Warrioress)

Cast: Brendan Carr, Keith Elyes, John Rackham, Ben Shockley, John Campbell-Mac, Jason Lee Hyde, PL Hobden, Lee Latchford Evans, Tommy Gerald, Earl Ling with Glenn Salvage, Cecily Fay, Silvio Simac and Pooja Shah also Jason Maza, Terry Stone and Doug Bradley (as The Narrator)

Writer: PL Hobden and Ross Boyask

Trailer: TEN DEAD MEN

TEN DEAD MEN FILM POSTER in My Photos by Terry Stone

Ten Dead Men is probably the scrappiest action thriller I’ve ever seen. You can see that the makers put a lot of effort into recreating their favourite ‘ten beers and a curry specials’. Sadly, imitation is not always the sincerest form of flattery, it can be an embarrassment. But Ten Dead Men isn’t all bad. Let’s talk about the good bits once I’ve told you the plot, which can be summed up in two sentences.

SPOILERS AHOY! Former gang enforcer, Ryan (BRENDAN CARR – WARRIORESS) has left a life of crime behind him, but an old favour needs honouring and it gets his girlfriend (POOJA SHAH – CASH AND CURRY) killed. Ryan sets off on a mission of vengeance to kill the ten men responsible. Told you, two sentences and the second one was really short too.

The fighting and choreography is way above average and a lot better than I was expecting going into this movie. This seems to be the raison d’etre for making the film in the first place. The makers contacted several athletes and martial artists and told them to fight, then they they threw in an extra £20 for them to say some lines. They clearly ran out of money for the leading man because he has NO lines. Well, maybe one, come to think of it. Then in post production someone put in a tenner to get Doug Bradley (HELLRAISER) to do one of the stupidest narrations in the history of cinema.  In that the plot is over simplistic, it still runs along at a fair old clip and is enlivened by two cameos from “name” actors – who in these guys’ company come across like Ralph Fiennes and Sir Laurence Olivier. Step forward Terry Stone (RISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER) and Jason Maza (THE HOOLIGAN FACTORY) who show the rest of the cast what this acting game is all about. Stone plays a barely onscreen Mr Big, who snarls and says “c*nt” a lot, and Maza is a Mr Fix It from Belgium who brings in a death squad near the end to take out Ryan (hahaha, Ryan!)  Maza gets his dick shot off but still manages to convince us that at least one of the cast has been to acting school, where as the majority of the slow deaths on offer in the film are hilarious. Check out Ben Shockley’s (VENDETTA) reaction to getting his ankle sliced! Also there is a wicked fight scene with a dominatrix (CECILIA FAY – WARRIORESS) which is worth sitting down for. Rent-a-hench, Silvio Simac from Transporter 3 and the Undisputed cycle is treated like cameo royalty with a showcase fight at the end. Where he turned up from storywise is a mystery. Maybe he was one of Jason Maza‘s crew, but I don’t know.

It’s probably the most action packed movie to be made in Brighton since Quadrophenia, and I have to say that the ‘one on one’ martial arts fights are great, choppily edited and the one reason to watch this little movie.  The script and acting are terrible throughout (Messrs Stone and Maza excepted) and the plot has no surprises. A lot of the dialogue (especially the narration) are unintentionally hilarious and completely moronic. Even the comedy hitmen, who bicker about the benefits of driving a Smart Car are completely out of wack with the rest of the film because they are unfunny.

Brendan Carr the leading man is a brooding lunk head who, actually can fight his way out of a paper bag but why is he collecting random body parts of his foes though? He carries them around in a cellophane bag like a big of sweets. Pity poor former ‘Steps‘ member too (LEE LATCHFORD EVANS – CASH AND CURRY) in another wordless cameo. Once famous for his voice, now he gets strangled with a seat belt. Poor bugger.

3 out of 10 – Ten Dead Men is not a complete loss, but it’s still pretty poor. Worth watching for some very good fight scenes and absolutely nothing else.

review BELOW by Joe Pesci II…. V

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

GOOD VIBRATIONS

5.5 out of 10

Release Date: 29th March 2013

British / Irish Co-Production

Director: Glenn Leyburn & Lisa Barros-D’Sa (Cherrybomb)

Cast: Richard Dormer, Jodie Whittaker, Michael Colgan, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Karl Johnson, Ruth McCabe, Mark Ryder, Kerr Logan, Diarmuid Noyes with Adrian Dunbar and Dylan Moran

Writer: Collin Carberry and Glenn Patterson

Trailer: GOOD VIBRATIONS

The thing that separates biopics from real life is that films give the illusion that life is predictable in the main. In general, they’ll follow a birth to death structure or focus on their protaganist’s most interesting period.  Good Vibrations follows the latter to the letter. In that the subject of Good Vibrations‘ life is so weird sets this on firm ground and originality and flashiness in biopics usually only serves to distance the audience.  Here a pedestrian approach works to the film’s favour. To the subject at it’s heart then.

Good Vibrations tells the story of early 70s Belfast club DJ, Terri Hooley who only dreams to play his reggae 45s to an increasingly dangerous and volatile audience. Belfast at the time was being torn apart by the sectarian troubles between the Catholics and Protestants, so the last thing on anyone’s mind was to go out dancing.  Paying off local IRA and loyalist hoods with a couple of Chas and Dave records, Hooley flies in the face of convention and re-mortgages his house to open a record shop on Bombscare Alley.  To everyone’s shock the shop flourishes and he goes on to start a fledgling record label to showcase up and coming punk bands, unwittingly signing The Undertones who promptly recorded the anthem “Teenage Kicks” – a John Peel fave.  Inspite of having no business acumen and no savvy out of Belfast, he champions the new sound at the expense of his wife’s patience and his stretched bank balance.  This is the story of a famous Belfast treasure, who’s record shop is still open to this day.

Played by Richard Dormer (GAME OF THRONES) with a fevered verve usually only seen in ‘disease of the week’ movies, the rest of proceedings follow suit in his infectious pursuit for the song to shine a spotlight on the talented youth of his troubled city. He is given solid support from Jodie Whittaker (ATTACK ON THE BLOCK) as his put-upon but besotted wife.  She puts depth into the ‘standard’ good-wife role. Elsewhere, Northern Irish stalwarts like Liam Cunningham (THE TOURNAMENT), David Wilmott (THE GUARD), Adrian Dunbar (MOTHER’S MILK) and Dylan Moran (BLACK BOOKS) turn up as friends, recording engineers and bar managers.

There’s not an awful lot to report except to say it’s solid. It’s enjoyable but not life changing. In this day and age it’s a pleasure to see such a competent and unfussy movie. The directors have previously given us a good performance from Rupert (Ron Weasley) Grint in their debut Cherrybomb so we’re in for good things from them I think. The soundtrack is obviously a mention with Alternative Ulster being blasted out in the films regular but necessary montages. Rudi and The Outcasts are well represented and their shared career trajectory with Hooley given more than lip service here.  Richard Dormer’s rendition of Sonny Bono’s “Don’t Laugh At Me!” is a great pay-off come the end of the movie. The film ends on a great high note and will have you digging for these records for your collection no doubt. It’s a shame that’s there’s no accompanying LP / CD for Good Vibrations because the music itself really really invites reflection.

5.5 out of 10 – Average telling one of  Northern Ireland’s national treasure’s life stories.  It’s completely elevated by Richard Dormer as Terri Hooley and of course the life story tells itself and the telling is infectious. Enjoyable but average execution.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Richard Dormer: Jump, Game Of Thrones (TV)
  • Jodie Whittaker: Hello Carter, Broadchurch (TV), Ashes, Spike IslandAttack The BlockOne Day, St. Trinians, Venus
  • Michael Colgan: This Is Not a Love Song
  • Liam Cunningham: The Numbers Station, Safe House, War Horse, The Guard, Centurion, Clash Of The Titans (201o), Harry Brown, Perrier’s Bounty, The Tournament, Blood- The Last Vampire, The Mummy 3, Hunger, The Escapist, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, The League Of Gentleman’s Apocalypse, Dog Soldiers, Jude, War Of The Buttons, A Little Princess, First Knight
  • David Wilmot: CalvaryShadow Dancer, Anna Karenina (2012)Parked, The Guard, Intermission, I Went Down
  • Karl Johnson: The Deep Blue Sea (2011),  Third Star, Hot Fuzz, Close My Eyes, Edge Of Love, Pure, Wittgenstein, Let Him Have It, Prick Up Your Ears, The Tempest (1979), Jubilee
  • Ruth McCabe:  PhilomenaWake Wood, Breakfast On Pluto, Inside I’m Dancing, Intermission, The Closer You Get, Titanic Town, An Awfully Big Adventure, Circle Of Friends, The Snapper, My Left Foot
  • Mark Ryder: Borgia (TV)
  • Kerr Logan: Game Of Thrones (TV)
  • Diarmuid Noyes: Borgia (TV), Killing Bono
  • Killian Scott: Calvary
  • Adrian Dunbar: Mother’s Milk, Shooters, Wild About Harry, The Wedding Tackle, The General (1998), Richard III (1995), The Near Room, Innocent Lies, Widow’s Peak, The Crying Game, The Playboys, Hear My Song, My Left Foot
  • Dylan Moran: Calvary, The Decoy Bride, Run Fatboy Run, Shaun Of The Dead, Black Books (TV), The Actors, Notting Hill

CITY RATS

5 out of 10

Release Date: 24th April 2009 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Steve Kelly (The Shouting Men)

Cast: Tamer Hassan, Myanna Buring, Danny Dyer, Natasha Williams, Kenny Doughty, James Lance, Jake Canuso with Susan Lynch and Ray Panthaki

Writer: Simon Fantauzzo

Trailer: CITY RATS

City Rats is an awful title. It evokes predictable expectations of low level gangster shenanigans. City Rats is one of those films based on Le Ronde that generally work despite themselves due to our inherent interest in regular life.  Like all films like this though, some of the storylines work better than others. Some of the plot lines in City Rats are compelling and quite brilliant, but then others are baffling and belong to a crap movie.  Danny Dyer (DEVIATION) submits one of his best performances since his career as ‘independent’ cinema’s go-to man began.  His story strand is my favourite. A largely game cast are challenged by some very strange material, so sadly the end result is fairly mixed. If you look at City Rats as a competent and enjoyable version of the tortuous 7Lives (also starring Danny Dyer) then you’re onto a winner. Comparing this to mighty films like Short Cuts or Grand Canyon will only serve to undermine what a modest little flick this is.

First of all Danny Dyer plays a recovering alcoholic and small time hood who is stalked by a middleaged nurse (NATASHA WILLIAMS) on an unusual quest for answers and ultimately redemption. In another plot, crippled prostitute Susan Lynch (THE SCOUTING BOOK FOR BOYS) who is interviewed about her life by an obsessed neighbour (RAY PANTHAKI – THE MAN INSIDE). Elsewhere a suicidal Tamer Hassan (THE REVERAND) drops watermelons from skyscraper roofs.  He only bucks up when he spots fellow suicidal ditherer (MYANNA BURING – KILL LIST) on a nearby roof top. Finally, gay drop out Kenny Doughty (THE CREW) is visited by his deaf and autistic brother (JAMES LANCE – BEL AMI) who is also gay and endeavours to get him laid on a night out. All four of these strands are connected, but how?

Two of these stories work quite well and the other two are too peculiar to convince on their desired levels. Let’s start with the good ones. Danny Dyer‘s through line is the most intriguing and he probably has the plum role as the troubled hood on a path to enlightenment.  His interaction with his weird stalker on a mission is brilliant. Special mention goes to Natasha Williams, who is perhaps the most unusual character, looks wise and story wise to have blessed a brit pic in a very long time. It’s a shame that this story was not given enough room to carry the entire movie. It’s a testament to how good Danny Dyer can be.  His mucker Tamer Hassan fares less well in a difficult role but he’s way better than we’re used to seeing him.  The other good but strange story line is the ‘gay’ brother arc. There are some unexplained aspects to this part of the film but it’s still reasonably compelling and helped by good acting from Doughty and Lance.

Susan Lynch is great as a crippled prostitute but it’s a shame that her section of the film offers nothing new or nowhere to go for the her. Ray Panthaki‘s artist is as poncey and ridiculously annoying as an early 20s hipster I’ve ever met, it doesn’t make for good viewing and their spiring comes across as boring and a hugh waste of running time. Shame really because, Susan Lynch has found a rare role that she can run wild with.  Tamer Hassan and MyAnna Buring are left with a great deal of the emotional heft as the pair of potential suicides, but this segment (again despite some good acting) is unconvincingly written. It’s a tight rope walk that only a radical rewrite could salvage. A meet-cute pair of suicides smacks of huge pretensions.

City Rats is a brave little movie in that it tries a lot of different approaches. It’s a great shame that it isn’t successful. The four stories fail to gel, and don’t even seem to be from the same film. The tone weaves wildly from scene to scene, but inspite of all this I liked it more than the majority of indies I’ve sat through recently.

5 out of 10 – Worth seeing for a very good Danny Dyer performance, the strange Natasha Williams and Tamer Hassan not playing a thug.  It’s a mixed bag for sure, ranging from quiet brilliance to toe-curling awfulness. But at least it’s intrepid and has ideas to spare. City Rats is different enough to stick in the memory. Awful f*cking title though.

PS: Dyer / Hassan fans. They don’t share any scenes.

Review below by Matt ‘City Prat’ Usher – He didn’t like the title.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN

5 out of 10

Release Date: 5th April 2013

Director: George Isaac 

Cast: Rufus Sewell, Toby Stephens, Gabriel Byrne, Leo Gregory, Terence Maynard, Julian Sands, Elsa Pataky, Ralph Brown, Neil Maskell, Michael Harvey, Pierre Mascolo, Christopher Adamson, Gil Darnell with James Frain and David Schofield

Writer: George Isaac

Trailer: ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN

All Things to All Men

There are very strong story and stylistic echoes of director Mike Hodges(GET CARTER / I’LL SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD / CROUPIER) gangster movies in All Things To All Men.  This is a very bleak, well acted but ultimately workman-like film from one of the producers of Kidulthood and Adulthood, George Issac. All Things To All  Men fails only narrowly by stealing (or is it sampling?) the plot of a well-known American thriller.  To tell you which one this borrows the framework from is to do this film a disservice because there is a lot to be enjoyed, but it was one hell of a liberty all the same.

Parker (RUFUS SEWELL – DARK CITY) is a high-ranking London detective.  With his long-term partner, Sands (TERENCE MAYNARD – REVOLVER) and rookie Dixon (LEO GREGORY – THE BIG I AM) they arrest the son of Gangster kingpin Corso (GABRIEL BYRNE - I, ANNA) for drug possession.  Using the son as leverage, Parker is playing a bigger game with just about everyone around him working as oblivious pawns in his game plan.

Littered with a cast made up of “one-time” “next big things”, this is extremely well-mounted and reasonably well written. It wanders similar but less scrubbed streets to the similar and recent Welcome To The Punch.  There seems to be less pressure to succeed on this occassion with the cast of old hands essentially disappearing into their parts showing James McAvoy and his mates how it should be done (with less flash!).  All the characters are tight-lipped because the game is one of very high stakes.  The only character who seems left behind from a 90s John Grisham thriller is Toby Stephens’ (SEVERANCE) hit man, Reilly. With a quiff, a sneer and the silliest dialogue, in the early stages it would appear that he is the leading man.  It soon transpires that this is Rufus Sewell’s show though as he runs circles around Corso and Reilly even embroiling his best friend and a clueless rookie in his schemes.

The cast is rounded out by a strange turn from Julian Sands (A ROOM WITH A VIEW) as Corso’s lieutenant Cutter, also we have the  double headed beast of Police Commissioner and Attourney General (JAMES FRAIN and DAVID SCHOFIELD) who virtually steal the movie with unearthly and darkly corrupt evil sentinels of the city. Neil Maskell (HOW TO STOP BEING A LOSER) pops up in a tiny role as a snitch and then there’s a disposable woman character, Sophia (ELSA PATAKY  - FAST & FURIOUS 6) who pouts, cries and dies to no avail other than to have a woman in the film.  There’s a good heist scene, a very decent car chase and few fights to bolster the acting and corkscrew plot, so we’re largely in the clear. So what went wrong?

The problems aren’t fatal, but the fact it’s plot is second hand is definitely a minus. The actors are as laid back and immersive as they would need their characters to be, but its hard to be engrossed in a film that is playing so many cards close to it’s chest. There’s no emotion to be had, Rufus Sewell is brilliant as the unflappable mastermind, but it also makes him unreadable. Only Gabriel Byrne gets to emote vaguely as the unlikely quarry of Parker’s game.  The climax is a bit of a dud as well with an all-star shoot out taking place at (a rubbish stand-in for) the Battersea Power Station, which looks like it was filmed in my garage.  The last line in the film is predictable but still a killer.  Better and less flashier than Welcome To The Punch (which had a better marketing an hype machine) but still a bit old hat.

5 out of 10 – Half marks all the way. Good acting, good chases, good cast, stolen plot, dated in every way, even in it’s very British need to stay tight-lipped and modest.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Rufus Sewell: Hercules (2014), The Sea (2013), Abraham Lincoln- Vampire Hunter, The Tourist, The Holiday (2006), Paris Je T’Aime, Tristan + Isolde, The Illusionist (2006), Charles II (TV), Mask Of Zorro 2, Extreme Ops, A Knight’s Tale, Bless The Child, Martha Meet Daniel Frank and Laurence, Dark City, The Woodlanders, Hamlet (1996), Carrington, Cold Comfort Farm, A Man Of No Importance, Middlemarch (TV), Dirty Weekend, Twenty One
  • Toby Stephens: The Machine (2014), Severance, The Ballad of Mangal Pandey, James Bond- Die Another Day, Possession (2002), Space Cowboys, Onegin, Photographing Fairies, Twelfth Night (1996)
  • Gabriel Byrne: I Anna, In Treatment (TV), Jindabyne, Wah-Wah, Assault On Precinct 13 (2005), Ghost Ship, Spider, End Of Days, Stgimata, Enemy Of The State, The Man In The Iron Mask (1998), This Is The Sea, The End Of Violence, Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, Last Of The High Kings, Trigger Happy, Dead Man, The Usual Suspects, Little Women (1994), Trial By Jury, A Dangerous Woman, The Assassin, Into The West, Cool World, Miller’s Crossing, Diamond Skulls, Siesta, The Keep, Excalibur
  • Leo Gregory: Top Dog, The Hooligan Factory, One In The Chamber, Payback Season,  Wild Bill (2012),  Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, The Big I Am, Goal III, Cass, Stoned, Green Street
  • Terence Maynard: Revolver, Reign Of Fire
  • Julian Sands: A Doll’s House, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), Blood and Bone, Ocean’s Thirteen, 24 (TV), Hotel (2000), Timecode, The Million Dollar Hotel, The Loss Of  Sexual Innocence, One Night Stand, Leaving Las Vegas, The Browning Version (1994), Warlock 2, Boxing Helena, A Tale Of a Vampire, The Turn Of The Screw (1992), Naked Lunch, Impromptu, Arachnaphobia, Warlock, Siesta, Gothic, A Room With a View (1985), The Doctor and The Devils, The Killing Fields, Oxford Blues
  • Elsa Pataky: Fast & Furious 6, Fast & Furious 5, Mr Nice, Snakes On a Plane
  • Ralph Brown: Jack The Giant Slayer,  I Anna, Stoker, Tower BlockHuge, Killing Bono, The Boat That Rocked, Straightheads, Exorcist – The Beginning, Flood, Mean Machine, Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, Up N’ Under, Amistad, Wayne’s World 2, Undercover Blues, The Crying Game, Alien 3, Diamond Skulls, Scandal, Buster, Withnail & I
  • Neil Maskell: The Rise, Utopia (TV), Dates (TV),  Pusher (2012), Turnout, GhostedSt. George’s Day, The ABCs of Death, Piggy,  Kill ListWild Bill (2012)Bonded By Blood, Tony, How To Stop Being a Loser,  Jack FallsDoghouseRise Of The Footsoldier, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, The Football Factory
  • Michael Harvey: The Big I Am
  • Pierre Mascolo: Adulthood, Kidulthood
  • Christopher Adamson: Mutant Chronicles, The Last Horror MovieEvil Aliens, The Ballad Of Mangal Pandey, Lighthouse, Razor Blade Smile, Judge Dredd (1995), Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Beyond Bedlam, Dirty Weekend, The Young Americans
  • James Frain: The Lone Ranger (2013), Water For Elephants, Tron 2, Everybody’s Fine, The Tudors (TV), Into The Blue, 24 (TV), The Count Of Monte Cristo (2002), Where The Heart Is , Reindeer Games, Titus, Elizabeth I (1998), Hilary and Jackie, Loch Ness, Nothing Personal, An Awfully Big Adventure, Shadowlands
  • David Schofield: The Last PassengerGhosted F, Burke and HareDevil’s Bridge, The Pirates Of The Caribbean 1 – 3, The Wolfman, Valkyrie, The Musketeer, From Hell, Gladiator (2000), Anna Karenina (1997), An American Werewolf In London