7 out of 10
Released: 23 March 2012
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.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Charlie Creed-Miles: A Hundred Streets, Peaky Blinders (TV), Hereafter, Harry Brown, Essex Boys, Nil By Mouth, The Fifth Element, The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, Press Gang (TV)
- Will Poulter: The Revenant, Kids In Love, Maze Runner, Plastic, We’re The Millers, The Chronicles Of Narnia- Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, Son of Rambow
- Sammy Williams: Attack The Block
- Leo Gregory: The Hooligan Factory, Top Dog, All Things To All Men, One In The Chamber, Payback Season, The Big I Am, Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, Goal 3, Green Street, Stoned
- Neil Maskell: Bone In The Throat, Level Up, High-Rise, Hyena, Open Windows, Humans (TV), The Rise, Utopia (TV), Pusher (2012), Turnout, Ghosted, St. George’s Day, The ABCs of Death, Piggy, Kill List, Bonded By Blood, T0ny, How To Stop Being a Loser, Jack Falls, Paintball, Doghouse, Rise Of The Footsoldier, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, The Football Factory, Nil By Mouth
- Liz White: Pride (2014), uwantme2killhim?, The Woman In Black, Life On Mars (TV)
- Olivia Williams: Man Up, The Haunting of Radcliffe House,The Seventh Son, Map of the Stars, Sabotage, Last Days On Mars, Now Is Good, Anna Karenina (2012), Sex & Drugs & Rock-n-Roll, The Ghost, Hanna, An Education, X-Men III, To Kill A King, Below, The Heart Of Me, The Sixth Sense, Born Romantic, Rushmore, The Postman
- Iwan Rheon: Residue, Game of Thrones (TV), The Rise, Misfits (TV), Resistance
- Jaime Winstone: The Last Photograph, Love Rosie, The Powder Room, uwantme2killhim? , Elfie Hopkins, Wild Bill (2012), Anuvahood, Kidulthood, Donkey Punch
- Sean Pertwee: Gotham (TV), Howl (2015), Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa, The Seasoning House, The Magnificent Eleven, Jo (TV), UFO (2013), St. George’s Day, Wild Bill (2012), Four, 4-3-2-1, Devil’s Playground, Just For The Record, Dangerous Parking, Botched, Doomsday, Mutant Chronicles, Goal, Goal II, Equilibrium, Dog Soldiers, The 51st State, Soldier, Love Honour & Obey, Cold Feet (TV), Event Horizon, Blue Juice, I.D, Shopping, Dirty Weekend, Leon The Pig Farmer
- Peter-Hugo Daly: Angel (2015), GBH (TV), Absolute Beginners, Oxford Blues, Breaking Glass
- Lee Whitlock: Ill Manors, Beyond The Rave (TV), Shine On Harvey Moon (TV)
- Mark Monero: Eastenders (TV), Grange Hill (TV), Babylon
- Jason Flemyng: Eat Local (dir), Gemma Bovery, Stonehearst Asylum, Top Dog, Sunshine On Leith, Welcome To The Punch, I Give It a Year, The Great Expectations (2012), X Men-First Class, Hanna, Solomon Kane, Kick Ass, Ironclad, Dead Cert, Jack Falls, The Riddle, Shifty, Clash Of The Titans, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mirrors, Stardust, Rollin With The Nines, Transporter 2, Layer Cake, Below, Mean Machine, The Bunker, Snatch, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels,The Red Violin, The Hollow Reed, Deep Rising, Spice World, Alive & Kicking (1996), Deep Rising, Stealing Beauty, The Jungle Book (1994)
- Andy Serkis: Black Panther, War of the Planet of the Apes (mo-cap), Tintin 2 (mo-cap), Jungle Book – Origins (voice), Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Avengers Assemble 2, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (mo-cap), The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey (mo-cap), Brighton Rock (2011), Sex & Drugs & Rock-n.Roll, The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (mo-cap), Tintin (2011)(mo-cap), Burke & Hare, The Cottage, Alex Rider-Stormbreaker, The Prestige, King Kong (2005)(mo-cap), 13 Going On 30, Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring (mo-cap), The Two Towers (mo-cap), The Return Of The King (mo-cap), Deathwatch, 24 Hour Party People, Mojo, Stella Does Tricks, Career Girls