WILD BILL (2012)

7 out of 10

Released: 23 March 2012

Director: Dexter Fletcher (Eddie The Eagle / Sunshine On Leith)

Cast: Charlie Creed-Miles, Will Poulter, Sammy Williams, Leo Gregory, Neil Maskell, Liz White, Charlotte Spencer, Iwan Rheon, Olivia Williams, Jaime Winstone, Sean Pertwee, Peter-Hugo Daly, Lee Whitlock, Mark Monero, Jay Simpson with Jason Flemyng and Andy Serkis

Writer: Dexter Fletcher & Danny King

Trailer: WILD BILL

 At last, here it is. The first truly decent British hard man flick of the decade.  Wild Bill sets its stall out firmly, this is a modern day western set in the east end of London.  A former rough nut returns home to his manor to find that his two school age sons have been left to fend for themselves after their mother has ran off to Spain.  The boys can barely remember their father and he is far from welcome.  In order for social services to stay off the scene though he is required to hang around just long enough to convince them he’s a good dad.  Will his old co-horts allow him to hang around long enough to keep his nose clean or will be dragged back into his old ways?

Performances, a well crafted script and a lot of heart are what sets this somewhat predictable tale of redemption apart from the rest of the pack.  Charlie Creed-Miles (HARRY BROWN) has not been afforded the opportunity to shine since Nil By Mouth and he grabs this rare lead role by the scruff of the neck and makes it breathe.  The younger actors Will Poulter (SON OF RAMBOW) and Sammy Williams (ATTACK THE BLOCK) would put most of the Harry Potter crowd to shame.  They buttress the central performance and convince thoroughly with their own subplots which alternately involve a local romance and the getting involved with Dad’s old crew selling drugs.

The supporting cast are made up of the usual suspects from the British cycle of inner city set movies.  The mind boogles how more than a few of these have appeared in the likes of Dead Cert or Devil’s Playground, the same talents like Jason Flemyng (TRANSPORTER 2), Neil Maskell (BONDED BY BLOOD) or Sean Pertwee (GOAL)  for instance, yet this is streets ahead in every single department.  Earlier I wrote that Wild Bill is very predictable plot-wise but sometimes that isn’t important at all, with characters this winning you are happy to be along for the ride.  A great visual backdrop of the 2012 Olympic park in construction and the best ever shot on film of a paper aeroplane are more than enough to make up for a lack of story originality.  Dexter Fletcher (THE RACHEL PAPERS) an actor since his childhood (can you spot him in The Long Good Friday?) has crafted a brilliant debut and I really cannot wait to see what he brings us next.

7 out of 10 –  For fans of Unforgiven more than Love Honour and Obey perhaps.



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