BLITZ

7 out of 10

Released: 20 May 2011

Director: Elliott Lester

Cast:  Jason Statham, Aiden Gillen, Paddy Considine, Zawe Ashton, Luke Evans, Ned Dennehy, Joe Dempsie with Mark Rylance and David Morrissey

Writer: Nathan Parker

Trailer: BLITZ

You may interpret this as faint praise when I say that this is the best Jason Statham (REVOLVER) vehicle yet but I am a great fan of his.  He is one of our greatest exports to Hollywood in years.  He has succeeded where Craig Fairbrass (WHITE NOISE 2), Gary Daniels (THE EXPENDABLES), Ray Park (ECKS VS SEVER – BALLISTIC) and even Lewis Collins (THE PROFESSIONALS – TV) have crashed and burnt.  He’s a true blue British action hero.  When he’s called upon he can actually act as well. Blitz is a prime example of The Stath on top form.  The sad thing is for every Blitz there’s three The Killer Elites.  He can be a rotten actor when he’s keeping bad company or even going solo. Blitz is also a sign that he hasn’t turned his back on the British film industry.  Along with this and The Bank Job and the Australian co-production The Killer Elite, he’s definitely not sold up and moved out to LA.

Onto the film in question. Jason Statham plays a maverick cop called Brandt who is on the trail of a cop killer, played by Aiden Gillen (THE WIRE – TV). Said maniac has no qualms in executing beat bobbies in broad daylight in front of a street full of witnesses.  This leads to lots of people getting their faces bashed in by our baldy crusader and also weaves in a strange subplot involving a female junky cop.  The cast is bulked out with some of the country’s top performers from both stage and film.  Paddy Considine (SUBMARINE) plays Brandt’s gay police partner, a bit of a problem for our homophobic hero that gives way to some un-pc old school humour.  Stage actor Mark Rylance (ANGELS AND INSECTS) pops up in a rare screen role as Brandt’s doomed washed up boss.  I wish this actor was in more films because as his long running role in West End hit Jerusalem proved he’s one of the nation’s best.  The plot zips along at a nice pace and there are some nice riffs on the usual police stereotypes.  The only downside to this cop thriller is that there are so many shows like this on British television and there can be broad comparisons to that superior soap opera The Bill.  The actors may be more expensive and the blood letting a little more visceral but this is essentially a cinema length episode of The Bill.  No bad thing I suppose.  It highlights Jason Statham‘s ability to act but also draws your attention to the fact that he must be slumming it when it comes to his more regular fare like The Mechanic (2011) or Safe.  

So in short, its not a life changer but its a very solid piece of entertainment. A good cop thriller you wouldn’t necessarily have gone out of your way to see at the cinema because it resembles a lot of reasonably good TV shows.  It’s a better acting showcase than his old fashioned jape The Bank Job from a few years back.  A lot of fun to be had and the villain is little bit more unhinged than the average.  Seeing executions on Orpington High Street is certainly a twisted novelty.

7 out of 10 – The best Statham vehicle so far.  This doesn’t include ensembles like Snatch, The Expendables etc…. Going BALDLY wear no action hero has gone before….Orpington High Street.

READ JOE PESCI II’s miffed review below..>!

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

  • Jason Statham: Meg, Fast and Furious 8, The Mechanic 2, Spy (2015), Wild Card, Fast and Furious 7, The Expendables 3, Heat (2013), Homefront, Hummingbird, Parker, The Expendables 2, Safe, Gnomeo and Juliet (voice), The Killer Elite, The Mechanic, The Expendables, 13 (2010), Crank 2, Transporter 3, Death Race (2008), The Bank Job, War, Crank, The Pink Panther (2006), In The Name Of The King, Transporter 2, Revolver, Cellular, The Italian Job (2003), Mean Machine, The One, Ghost Of Mars, Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Aiden Gillen: Pickups, King Arthur – Legend of the Sword, Game Of Thrones (TV), Sing Street, Maze Runner 2, You’re Ugly Too, Still, Calvary, Mister John,  The Dark Knight Rises, Shadow Dancer, Treacle Jr, Wake Wood, Twelve Rounds, The Wire (TV), Shanghai Knights, My Kingdom, The Low Down, Queer As Folk (TV), Mojo, Some Mother’s Son, Circle Of Friends
  • Paddy Considine: Journeyman, Macbeth (2015)Miss You Already, Child 44, Pride (2014), Honour, The Double (2014)The World’s EndNow Is Good, Tyrannosaur (dir), Submarine, Le Donk and Scorasayzee, The Bourne Ultimatum, Hot Fuzz, Stoned, Cinderella Man, My Summer Of Love, Dead Man’s Shoes, In America, 24 Hour Party People, The Martins, Born Romatic, Last Resort, A Room For Romeo Brass
  • Luke Evans: SAS – Red Notice, Beauty & The Beast (2017), The Girl On The Train,  High-Rise, Flutter, The Hobbit- The Battle of the Five Armies, Dracula- Untold, The Hobbit – The Desolation Of Smaug, Fast And Furious 6, Ashes, No One Lives, Flutter, The Raven, Immortals, The Three Musketeers (2011), Tamara Drewe, Clash Of The Titans (2010), Sex & Drugs & Rock-n-Roll
  • Zawe Ashton: Weekender, Dreams of a Life
  • Ned Dennehy: Banished (TV), Peaky Blinders (TV), Child 44, Roadkill (2015)The Woman In Black 2, Downhill, Scintilla, Grabbers, Storage 24Tyrannosaur, The Eagle, The Escapist
  • Joe Dempsie: Burn Burn Burn, This Is England ’90 (TV), Monsters 2, Game of Thrones (TV), The Fades (TV), This Is England ’86 (TV), The Damned United, Skins (TV)
  • Mark Rylance: Days and Nights, Dunkirk, The BFG, Bridge of Spies, Bing (voice)(TV), Wolf Hall (TV), The Gunman, Anonymous, The Other Boleyn Girl, Intimacy, Angels & Insects, Prospero’s Books
  • David Morrissey: The Ones Below, The Walking Dead (TV), Welcome To The PunchNowhere Boy,  Centurion, Is Anybody There?, The Reaping, The Other Boleyn Girl, Derailed, Basic Instinct 2, Hilary & Jackie, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Born Romantic, Some Voices, Fanny & Elvis, Waterland, Drowning By Numbers

SUBMARINE

7.5 out of 10

Released: 18th March 2011

Director: Richard Ayoade – (The Double)

Cast: Noah Taylor, Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige with Sally Hawkins and Paddy Considine

Writer: Richard Ayoade

Trailer: SUBMARINE

Submarine is one of those great little coming of age films that most geeks who are into films can really identify with.  In fact this will appeal to nerds of every kind. It could only have been made by one of “us”.  For instance, how come we rarely see these types of films from the school bully’s point of view? There you go.  On this occasion our hero is an erudite, Albert Camus reading, Edith Piaf listening to, sixteen year old virgin called Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts – RED LIGHTS) He ekes out a social existence around the fringes of the nerd contingent and the popular crowd.  Calcualting that he’d have better luck losing his virginity if he punched his own weight he teams up and eventually ends up going steady with fellow outsider and full-time pyromanic, Jordana Davis (Yasmin Paige – THE DOUBLE 2013).  On top of these trying times, his parents Noah Taylor (VANILLA SKY) and Sally Hawkins (NEVER LET ME GO) are having marital troubles.  The catalyst being the return of his mother’s ludicrous former love, Graham (Paddy Considine – DEAD MAN’S SHOES). A brilliantly gormless extended cameo asa ridiculous new age healer for this ever wonderful actor.  The casting of Noah Taylor is ingenious because this enables Submarine to serve as an unofficial third part of the unfinished Danny Embling Trilogy made up of The Year My Voice Broke and Flirting. Taylor seemlessly generates well earned humour and pathos as the potentially cuckolded husband.  The young cast is amazing and the script is spot on. The quirks are timely and almost always hit the mark.  I’m told that some of the more distrubing elements have been left out of the film from the book rendering the end result weird but not creepy.

It setting in Wales gives it a unique look as well.  Our heroes are mostly Welsh so it’s strange that characters like the mother and Graham don’t have regional accents despite growing up in the town.  A small quibble I suppose.  I think its set sometime in the very early 1980s.   There are very few of the 80s gimmicks on display though.  This is a great film debut from Richard Ayoade, who’s known primarily for his acting roles in The I.T. Crowd  and Bunny and The Bull.  His second film as director, The Double (2013) is due next year as his acting career begins to take off stateside with the Ben Stiller comedy The Watch. On a side note Stiller is one of Submarine‘s producers.

Quirky but not annoying or poncey, this is a very funny addition to the already crowded “rural coming of age” cannon.  Fans of said Noah Taylor movies, Wah-Wah, My Life As  A Dog, Adventureland or Stand By Me will find a lot to enjoy.

Also it’s very very very funny. I almost forgot to say that.

7.5 out of 10 – Funniest Britpic of 2011.  Please look it up.  Comedy perfection. Best growing up story since Adventureland.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

THE WOMAN IN BLACK

3 out of 10

Released: 11 February 2012

Director: James Watkins (Eden Lake)

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White, Mary Stockley, Shaun Dooley, Tim McMullan, Victor McGuire and Roger Allam

Writer: Jane Goldman

Trailer: THE WOMAN IN BLACK

At the end of the year this The Woman In Black may be the largest grossing Brit-Pic.  Obviously this doesn’t mean its the best.  Actually all it means is that it probably had the largest advertising budget.  Based on the longest running stage show in London this ghost story trundles along without troubling to scare the viewer very often.  The only thing that scared me is how Daniel Radcliffe (HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE) continues to get work.  There’s more expression in Darth Vader’s mask and he has the emotional range of a dead Ninja Turtle.  The boy is as wooden as it gets.  Trees would be jealous.  Essentially he repeats his ‘deep breath – pause – look – speak’ style of acting.  He always appears to be in a different time zone to the action.  Forever a second to late in all his reactions.  I thought he would improve as the Harry Potter series progressed but I guess acting can’t be taught, you either have it or you don’t.  He doesn’t and won’t ever. Please prove me wrong, Robert Pattinson did with Cosmopolis.

As ghost stories go this is tame stuff. For instance the prelude shows its hand and renders any twists and turns redundant.  An interesting supporting cast mainly made up of London stage actors like Tim McMullern  (THE QUEEN) and Janet McTeer (TIDELAND) give the film a heartbeat of sorts. But sadly Daniel Radcliffe renders the whole exercise still born.  This is a horror film for grannies. It holds too many punches and is just not at all scary borrowing stylistic motifs from Japanese horror movies like The Grudge or The Ring cycle.  I was hoping for something as effective as Red Lights, The Others or last year’s The Awakening which were all way chillier and creepier.

The script is by Jane Goldsmith who scripted the amazing Kick Ass and the uniform X Men – First Class.  Here she falls into traps by spending too much time having the characters explain themselves and talk at great length about the curse.  The Woman In Black which should be enigmatic is rendered completely unimaginative and predictable.  You can actually tell to the exact second that she will appear.  Real horror scares should happen off beat.  Not appearing in reflections or in door ways when a character moves out of shot.  This year the horror movie ante was upped by Joss Whedon’s The Cabin In The Woods. After that film there should no longer be an excuse to churn this tired cookie cutter of a ghost story out.

3 out of 10 – I’ve  been more scared by the people I see shopping in The Mall in Luton.  Someone sack that plank Radcliffe. More life in one of Voldemort’s butt hairs.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN?

  • Daniel Radcliffe: Now You See Me 2, Victor Frankenstein, Horns, The F Word, Kill Your Darlings, A Young Doctor’s Notebook (TV), Harry Potter 1 – 8, The December Boys, The Tailor Of Panama
  • Ciaran Hinds: Hitman – Agent 47, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby-His/Hers, The Sea, Closed Circuit, Frozen (voice), Game Of Thrones (TV), John Carter, Ghost Rider 2, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows- part 2, The Rite, The Debt, Race To Witch Mountain (2009), Stop-Loss, Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, In Bruges, There Will Be Blood, Margot At The Wedding, Hallam Foe, Rome (TV), Miami Vice, Munich, The Phantom Of The Opera, Calendar Girls, Tomb Raider 2, Veronica Guerin, Road To Perdition, The Sum Of All Fears, The Lost Son, Titanic Town, Oscar and Lucinda, Some Mother’s Son, Mary Reilly, Persuasion, Circle Of Friends, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover
  • Janet McTeer: Me Before You, Insurgent, The White Queen (TV), Parade’s End (TV), Albert Nobbs, Island, As You Like It (2006), Tideland, The King Is Alive, Tumbleweeds, Velvet Goldmine, Carrington, Wuthering Heights (1992)
  • Liz White: Pride (2014), uwantme2killhim? Wild Bill (2012)
  • Mary Stockley: I Spit On Your Grave 2, 7Lives, Pierrepoint
  • Shaun Dooley: This Is England ’90 (TV), Downton Abbey (TV), Wolfblood (TV), Offender, Junkhearts, The Awakening, Salvage, Eden Lake
  • Tim McMullen: Foyle’s War (TV), The Queen, Shadowlands
  • Victor McGuire:  Party Pieces, The Task, Dangerous Parking, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,Bread (TV)
  • Roger Allam: The Lady In The Van, Endeavour (TV), A Royal Night Out, Mr Holmes, The Book Thief (voice), The Thick Of It (TV), The Angel’s Share, The Iron Lady, Tamara Drewe, Speed Racer, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, A Cock and Bull Story, V Is For Vendetta

THE MAN INSIDE (2012)

4 out of 10

Release: 27th July 2012

Director: Dan Turner (Stormhouse)

Cast: Ashley Thomas, Peter Mullan, Michelle Ryan, Jason Maza, Jenny Jules, Lennox Malachi Kambala, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Bhasker Patel with Ray Panthaki and David Harewood

Writer: Dan Turner

Trailer: THE MAN INSIDE

The Man Inside, an urban boxing drama,is a real mixed bag.  It’s a bundle of energy and ideas that is as schizophrenic as the main character.  Wildly erratic performances stick out like sore thumbs against some career bests.  The plot piles incident upon tragedy on top of our hero, an amateur boxer called Clayton (ASHLEY THOMAS – THE VETERAN) as he battles to keep his volatile temper in check.  Surviving a really disturbing childhood at the hands of his murderous father, Clayton battles to keep is sanity and not fulfill a prophecy that he is very much his father’s son.  His younger brother (LENNOX MALACHI KAMBALA) and sister are embroiled in a fight with a local thug. Said thug is the sister’s ex, who wants her current boyfriend off the scene.  Her brothers approach the situation in two different ways. The younger brother wants to knife the threat. Our hero thinks the the thug’s brother, who happens to be his boxing partner can smooth a path.  Boxing is an important escape for Clarence but much to the chagrin of his trainer, he cannot let his anger get released. Will Clarence stick to the good road or crumble and fulfil his mother’s prophecy.  To be honest, the proceedings are so bleak, his future is hard to read. The muddled narrative does have this much going for it.

Throw into the mix a burgeoning love affair with a recovering crack addict played by Michelle Ryan (EASTENDERS), an intrusive oppo (RAY PANTHAKI – SCREWED) of his imprisoned father mixing up the feud with nebulous offers of help and a religious nut of a mother (JENNY JULES – VICTIM), who may just be as unhinged as his father, The Man Inside has too many plots vying for attention and empathy.  Ashley Thomas’s character is bounced from one scenario to the next rendering his role at the mercy of the editors.  Laughter is swiftly followed by pain then back to laughter.  As I said earlier, some of the performances, Ashley Thomas’s included, are career bests but these are tipped over by a totally mis-cast Michelle Ryan. A bad actress at the best of times, it sadly shows up clearer in a lead role. Jason Maza (TRUTH OR DARE) is largely wasted and comes across as awkward as Clarence’s boxing partner.  The lion’s spoils go to Peter Mullan (TYRANNOSAUR) as the trainer and David Harewood (VICTIM) as the jail-bird father.  Both put in amazing performances as opposing guardians of Clarence’s soul.  Peter Mullan channelling the boys’ anger through boxing and David Harewood’s towering, one-dimensionally evil father striking the fear of god into all who cross his path.  He is particularly chilling in flashbacks to a murder witnessed by a 5 year old Clarence.  He comes across almost as terrifying as Hannibal Lecter from Silence Of The Lambs.

As mixed up as The Man Inside is the central message of finding an alternate path to violence is loud and clear.  It’s a brave and experimental film which is salvageable purely down to great acting.  It’s let down by a cluttered plot but when it grips it really does.  Special mention goes to the flashback scenes to Clarence’s childhood. Those two or three minutes will make this film stay with you longer than it should.  Shame about the cringe-worthy Michelle Ryan performance and a plot which could flippantly written off as a street level Incredible Hulk.

This certainly marks Ashley Thomas out as an actor to watch after this and his smaller role in The Veteran.

4 out 10 – All marks are for the performances alone and those upsetting yet emotional splinters of flashback.  Interesting but majorly flawed….

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

NEVER LET ME GO

7.5 out of 10

Released: 11th February 2011

Director: Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo / Static)

Cast:  Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, Sally Hawkins, Izzy Meikle-Small, Ella Purnell, Charlie Rowe, Andrea Riseborough, Domhall Gleeson, Nathalie Richard and Charlotte Rampling

Writers: Alex Garland and Kazuo Ishiguro

Trailer: NEVER LET ME GO

Never Let Me Go is based on one of my favourite novels of the last decade.  Written by Kazuo Ishiguro (THE REMAINS OF THE DAY)  this is science fiction of a different breed from your every day The Matrix-clone.  Think of this as Blade Runner replacing flying cars, guns and punk hairdos for last autumn’s knitwear fashions and you’ll be spot on.  It touches upon all the same subjects with as much sensitivity? How long have we got together? Can we live forever? If we met our maker what would we ask?

I can’t unread the book so I can’t know what it would be like coming to this film cold.  I thought it was an accurate if somewhat short interpretation.  Most importantly though is that it captured the emotion, the futility, the acceptance and the sadness of the story.  The actors from the most seasoned to the most junior were perfectly cast.  Carey Mulligan (DRIVE)  has yet to be better than her display as Cathy, so much upset below her stoic surface.  She plays nicely off Andrew Garfield (THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN) as Tommy, who I’d only seen in The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus at that point.  He’s a little broad to begin with but then you realise and begin to understand his reading.  Keira Knightley (THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 1,2 & 3) in a smaller role as Ruth is perfect. Priggish, manipulative but no more better than her friends, her fate is perhaps the saddest.

Set initially at an unusual boarding school called Hailsham, three students bond for life.  All the children are told that they are special and that their paths are predestined.  Their fate becomes apparent when a young teacher played by Sally Hawkins (SUBMARINE) breaks protocol and tells them their purpose.  As they grow older they cling to small chances or happenstance so that may exept themselves from their duties / purpose / fate.  For those coming to the proceding fresh its best I leave the revelations for you to find.

Criticism elsewhere has been aimed at a script / story where there is no fight in the characters.  Why tell a story of a group of people who accept a truly awful fate?  Why not choose to tell a story of rebellion?  This is where this story succeeds. It chooses a path less travelled in cinema.  It may be a parable against grooming or organised religion but I think its important to show their ultimate acceptance.  Dilemnas are essentially put beyond their reach and real life is always beyond the fringes of their existences.  Instances of runaways are never brought up, thats a different story.

Never Let Me Go is probably the most unusual sci-fi you will see in that there are no futuristic add-ons.  It’s scientific to an extent in that it takes place in an alternative reality from our own.  Everything else look familiar as if it’s set in the 1980s without the flourescent socks.

To sum up, the direction, cinematography, script and acting are all top notch. Most of the cast have rarely been better and its a very very sad journey.  A great book.  It will be a difficult watch for those of you who are pro-active.  They will be yelling at the characters “just do something!”   Why do the characters blindly accept their fates like cows in an abbatoir?  Aren’t we the same? Ultimately, we’re just like them in the end. No one gets out of here alive.

7.5 out of 10 – Unusual and sad science fiction.  Blade Runner on a farm.  Only Brit Pic to yield a tear or two!

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

  • Carey Mulligan: Suffragette, Far From The Madding Crowd (2015), Inside Llewyn Davis, The Great Gatsby (2013), Shame, Drive, Wall Street 2,  Public Enemies, An Education, Pride & Prejudice (2005)
  • Andrew Garfield: Silence (2016), 99 Homes, The Amazing Spiderman 2, The Amazing Spiderman, The Social Network, The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus
  • Keira Knightley: Say When, Everest, The Imitation Game, Laggies, Begin Again, Jack Ryan- Shadow Recruit, Anna Karenina (2012), Seeking a Friend For The End Of The World, A Dangerous Method, London Boulevard, Last Night,  The Duchess, The End Of Love, Silk, Atonement, Pirates Of The Caribbean 1-3, Domino, Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Jacket, King Arthur (2004), Love Actually, Pure, Thunderpants, Bend It Like Beckham, The Hole (2001), Star Wars- The Phantom Menace, Innocent Lies
  • Sally Hawkins: X+Y, Paddington, Godzilla (2014), The Double (2014), Blue Jasmine, Great Expectations (2012),  Made In Dagenham, Submarine, An Education, Cassandra’s Dream, Happy Go Lucky, Layer Cake, Vera Drake, All Or Nothing
  • Izzy Meikle-Small: Pudsey the Dog, Private Peaceful
  • Ella Purnell: Tarzan (2016), Maleficent, Kick Ass 2, Intruders
  • Andrea Riseborough: The Crow (2016), The Silent Storm, Birdman, Oblivion, Welcome To The Punch, Shadow DancerW/E, ResistanceBrighton Rock ( 2011), Made In Dagenham, Happy Go Lucky
  • Domhnall Gleeson: The Revenant, Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Brooklyn, Ex Machina, Frank, Calvary, About TimeShadow Dancer DreddAnna Karenina (2012), True Grit (2011), Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows 1 & 2
  • Nathalie Richard:  Hidden (2006)
  • Charlotte Rampling: 45 Years, The Sea, Nymphomaniac, The Sea, The Eye Of The Storm, I Anna, Cleanskin, Melancholia, Streetdance, The Duchess, Babylon AD, Basic Instinct 2, Swimming Pool, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Spy Game, Under The Sand, The Wings Of The Dove, Paris By Night, Angel Heart, Stardust Memories, The Night Porter, Vanishing Point

THE LAST SEVEN

3 out of 10

Released: 27 August 2010

Director:  Imran Navqi

Cast: Tamer Hassan, Simon Phillips, Daisy Head, Sebastian Street, John Mawson, Rita Ramnani with Danny Dyer and Ronan Vibert

Writer:  John Stanley

Trailer:  THE LAST SEVEN

Will there ever be a good Tamer Hassan / Danny Dyer movie ever again?  Judging from this, I’m in for a long wait.  Should I go to their rescue with a script that frees them from bollocks like this?  I’m hankering for the now cult flick The Business of course. I think that was their 2nd film together but since then there have been about six or seven.  Everytime I see one I give it a look hoping to be entertained once more.  Sadly it looks like The Business was the pinnacle of this fetid partnershit. I mean partnership.  Nick Love, please bail them out!  Well on to the film in question which isn’t that offensive.  It’s just (sigh)…. well read on.

It’s probably safe for me to say that this can be filed alongside Dead Cert and Devil’s Playground in the lame British sci-fi horror box.  The Last Seven is an intially intriguing riff on The Quiet Earth and Jacob’s Ladder but swiftly descends into unintentional hilarity and boredom. Twist and turns in the plot are telegraphed by an overwrought soundtrack and a sluggish pace that enables the viewers to be streets ahead of any of the characters.  The acting is a very mixed bag, it ranges from terrible to OK.  Nobody involved stands out, the script handcuffs their roles to trudinging around some empty streets for what makes the running time seem like a day.

The plot involves seven people, seemingly connected somehow, who awake in the financial district of London to find that they are very much alone in the world.  As they try to unravel the mystery they are picked off one by one by the “angel of death”, ludicrously played by Danny Dyer (THE TRENCH) dressed in a bloodstained blindfold and a leather jacket.  Luckily the most annoying and worst actor is picked off first.  I was hoping proceedings would improve after that but sadly this under cooked bore of a sci-fi shuffles along to its sorry and easy to guess conclusion.  We see Tamer Hassan (THE REVEREND – 2012) swear a lot and bicker with the other strandees.  The lead Simon Phillips (JACK SAYS) adds some shade to a one dimensional role and his is the closest to a good performance here.  A low budget is no excuse for a film to be as dull as this though. Take Exam, Cube, Storage 24 or Moon by comparison. All you need are confident  actors, a good idea, a brilliant script, all of which are missing in action on this occassion.

To sum up, The Last Seven is a missed opportunity for what could have been a tense little horror movie. It’s mostly let down by a dreadful script that strands the inexperienced actors and leaves them bumbling around one of the dullest parts of London.  There are no standout performances although Tamer Hassan  is more subdued than you’d expect considering the situation his character is in. The villain is crap, this must rank as one of Danny Dyer’s worst performance and he doesn’t even have any word!  In the DVD extras the actors praise the script as being totally out of this world, original and mind blowing.  Mind numbing more like. One of out of favour director M Night Shymalyan’s (THE SIXTH SENSE) poos could write something better than this brain dead drivel.  Film entertainment at it’s dullest.  Oh yeah and what was that really silly coda all about? Actually, who cares?

3 out of 10 – Angels of Death? I sh*t ’em….

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE? 

PAYBACK SEASON

2.5 out of 10

Released: 9th March 2012

Director: Danny Donnelly

Cast: Adam Deacon, Leo Gregory, David Ajala, Nichola Burley, Liam Donnelly, Billy Seymour, Bronson Webb, Sir Geoff Hurst, Alex Esmail and Anna Popplewell

Trailer: PAYBACK SEASON 

Not too much to report on this utterly gormless Adam Deacon (KIDULTHOOD) vehicle. His character “K” in the recent comedy Anuvahood is 100 times more streetwise than his premier league footballer on display here.  After hitting the big league, Jerome thinks its time to treat his former friends from the streets to few nights out.  In no time at all, ruler of the roost, Baron (David Ajala – OFFENDER) sees an opportunity to extort money out of the ever dopey Jerome.  With physical threats to himself, his mother and brother who have never left the endz, what will Jerome do? How far can he be pushed by his former friends before he snaps?

Oh my days, where to begin.  Any good points? Well its a nice attempt at giving the UK street gang tract a bit of a twist, but this suffers from mis-casting.  Adam Deacon isn’t a bad actor by any stretch but not once was I convinced he was a professional footballer at the pinnacle of his career.  A person in his position would surely be more resourceful and this kind of extortion would be nipped in the bud relatively quickly and harmlessly by members of his staff or the football club.  In Payback Season the scenario is dragged out to the hilt because our lead is too dopey to realise that his brer are fleecing him.  David Ajala as Baron is better cast.  After a string of tiny roles in Offender and Adulthood he gets to shine as the unreadable Jerome.  His large eyes and easy smile may trick someone who had been under his wing for years. His leadership qualities are easy to recognise.  Elsewhere in the cast we have a mixed bag of good performances to the terrible. Leo Gregory needs to get a better agent, after his break out performance in the crappy Green Street he’s never made a bound up the ladder and judging from his shrug of a performance as disposable best friend that ascent is overdue.  Sir Geoff Hurst appears as a sporting agent, why I don’t know. Useless. As for the women and Baron’s crew, they aren’t worth the typeage.

A vaguely original so-what of a movie? Adam Deacon proves himself a confident performer and with his joint and very different lead roles in this and Anuvahood I’ll continue to keep an eye out for his movies.  But on the whole this is a rotten little film about leaving your past behind.  Success is good. The people in your past are all jealous and will exploit you at the drop of a hat.  Dubious messages. Poor movie.

One great performance from David Ajala, a competent lead role for Adam Deacon, OK idea, nice unpredictable ending, poor script and some very bad acting consign this to my ‘give away’ pile.

So first person that asks me for my copy can have the DVD for nothing.

2.5 out 10 – The lamest Britpic about football I’m yet to see.

LOOK IN THE COMMENTS BOX or BELOW for JOE PESCI II’s delightful counter review which also scores 2.5 out 1o.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?