6 out of 10
Released: 7th September 2011
Cast: Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Sean Harris and Karel Roden with Paul Anderson, Stephen McCole, Kate Magowan, Garry Sweeney with Eamonn Walker and Alec Newman
Trailer: A LONELY PLACE TO DIE
Who’s up for a white-knuckle action flick set in the Scottish Highlands made on a “bring your own toilet roll budget?” Well snobbery will get you nowhere. This ultra low budget Brit-Pic achieves cinematic miracles considering that it was made for under £1 Million. Consider it’s Hollywood counterparts Cliffhanger or Vertical Limit for a second and wonder how far that figure would have gone. Maybe catering for a week. Who knows? For one thing, this film, especially in the first half, measures up dramatically to either of those mentioned. Plotwise it’s sleek but it does get bogged down at times with too many baddies. Here’s the plot. Five mountain climbers including Melissa George (MULLHOLLAND DRIVE) and Ed Speleers (ERAGON) find a child hostage buried alive in a box below the ground. A frought rescue attempt lands the sporty five in the crosshairs between the hostage takers and the equally fearsome father, an East European gangster of considerable standing played by rent-a-Russian, Karel Roden (HELLBOY). Some accomplished stunts and action follow as our heroes are hounded by both teams.
As predictable as the plot sounds there is still much to recommend. All of the characters are economically set up but follow convincing arcs. Sean Harris (PROMETHEUS) is on chilly but restrained form as the lead kidnapper who may be in danger of coming out on top too easily. The plot bottlenecks when all the parties reach the same small town where a carnival is in process. Too many characters, too many guns, no time for anyone to explain themselves (but thats realistic right?) this turns from slick thriller into a series of “who just got shot just then?” scenes. As for action, it does overreach its grasp slightly, but in a year where there were virtually no Brit action flicks were released (Attack the Block springs to mind) this fills a welcome gap.
So in short we have a predictable plot, amazing photography of the highlands, a brilliant if crowded cast, a reasonably good script and a slick pace for most of the running time. Recommended for those that want an action flick in a relatively new location to cinema. This is a reasonable improvement on Julian Gilbey’s debut Rollin’ With The Nines, perhaps the bleakest UK gangster movie ever made.
So now it’s out on DVD don’t be put off by the depressing title. These characters want to live.
6 out of 10 – A bold and largely generic action thriller made special by the fact its a Brit-Pic and that it was made for peanuts.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Melissa George: Felony, Hunted (TV), The Slap (TV), Swinging With The Finkels, Triangle, Grey’s Anatomy (TV), 30 Days Of Night, Paradise Lost (2007), Derailed, The Amityville Horror (2005), Down With Love, Mullholland Drive, The Limey, Dark City, Home and Away (TV)
- Ed Speleers: Remainder, Alice In Wonderland 2, Howl (2015), Wolf Hall (TV), Downton Abbey (TV), Plastic, Love Bite, Witchville, Eragon
- Sean Harris: Trespass Against Us, Macbeth (2015), Mission Impossible 5, The Goob, ’71, Deliver Us From Evil, Serena, The Borgias (TV), Prometheus, Brighton Rock (2011), Harry Brown, Outlaw, Creep, Brothers Of The Head, Trauma, 24 Hour Party People
- Stephen McCole: The Legend of Barney Thompson, The Wee Man, Neds, Crying With Laughter, Last Orders, Rushmore, Orphans, The Acid House
- Karel Roden: Angel (2015), Sword of Vengeance, Frankenstein’s Army, Largo Winch: Deadly Vengeance, Rock-n-Rolla, The Bourne Supremacy, Mr Bean’s Holiday, Blade II, Hellboy, 15 Minutes
- Kate Magowan: Winter, Eastenders (TV), Plastic, Fall Of The Essex Boys, Outside Bet, Screwed (2011), A Lonely Place To Die, 4-3-2-1. Stardust, Kidulthood, It’s All Gone Pete Tong
- Garry Sweeney: Crying With Laughter, Valhalla Rising, Small Faces, The Acid House
- Paul Anderson: The Revenant, In The Heart of the Sea, Legend (2015), Electricity, Still Life, ’71, Peaky Blinders (TV), Still Life, Passion, The Sweeney, Piggy, Sherlock Holmes 2, The Firm (2009)
- Eamonn Walker: Chicago Fire (TV), Legacy – Black Ops, The Messenger, Tears Of The Sun, Lord Of War, Unbreakable, Shopping, Young Soul Rebels, In Sickness and In Health (TV)
- Alec Newman: Greyhawk, 24 (TV), Waterloo Road (TV), Long Time Dead, G:MT, Casualty (TV)