4 out of 10
Released: 8th August 2012
Director: Ron Scalpello (Pressure)
Cast: Joe Cole, English Frank, Shaun Dooley, Kimberley Nixon, Tyson Oba, Scorcher, G. Frsh, Malachi Kirby, Daniel Kendrick, Jacob Anderson, David Ajala, Brian Vernel, Mark Cooper Harris, Simon Phillips with Ruth Gemmell and Vas Blackwood
Writer: Paul Van Carter
Striding confidently into UK cinemas this week could have been the British equivalent of Le Prophet. What we have instead is a style heavy re-tread of an old Jean Claude Van Damme movie called Death Warrant. A young man (JOE COLE – NOW IS GOOD) loses everything at the hands of a thug (English Frank) and follows him to youth offender’s prison to eke his revenge.
This is a competent if unoriginal little film with very good performances from a game cast on the whole. It would have scored higher if it didn’t contain the worst acting performance I’ve seen in quite some time from a highly unlikely individual. Come on down, UK’s ugliest Grime rapper, English Frank. Seriously, I really hope its the last I see of this over acting monstrosity in a film. He essentially ruins what could have easily been filed in the “good but nothing special box”. He is wooden, over posturing, has terrible diction and is unfortunately hilarious. As top-boy on the wing he is about as frightening as a pink sock puppet, with worse dialogue, apparently he’s been in and out of institutions since he was “crapping rusks”. Lame. Coming across like an update of Scum, Offender gets tripped up by the makers’ over confidence in their players talents. Joe Cole performs well but his character disappears in a whirlwind of bloodletting and mayhem towards the end and never re-surfaces. Theres a great supporting cast, namely Shaun Dooley (EDEN LAKE) as the sadisitic screw, but they cannot save it. As an aside, the cast is largely made up of real life offenders and first time actors.
The script is competent but the story runs on rails. No plot beats or even characters deviate from type. The direction is over flashy as well with the director’s penchant for slow motion and coloured filters ever present. Jean Claude would have been happy with the amount of slo mo. I think there’s more slow motion in Offender than in his Hard Target. Possibly 20 minues worth.
Offender is predictable, unoriginal, mostly solid but ruined by a truly bad acting showcase from rapping potato, English Frank. He’s rotten. He should audition to be a Smith’s Crisp, he’d have better luck. The script adds nothing to the already busy UK jail genre, and has no message or moral. This is only for fans of well-choreographed scrapping. It does mark the lead Joe Cole out as one to watch though.
4 out 10. Please let this be the only English Frank movie, EVER! (we wanna be Smith’s Crisps!)
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Joe Cole: Green Room, Secret In Their Eyes (2015), Pressure, The Falling, In The Blood (2015), A Long Way Down, Now Is Good, Peaky Blinders (TV), Skins (TV)
- English Frank: Brash Young Turks
- Kimberley Nixon: Hunky Dory, Elfie Hopkins, Cherrybomb, Black Death, Resistance, Easy Virtue, Wild Child
Shaun Dooley: Broadchurch (TV), Wolfblood (TV), Misfits (TV), The Woman In Black, Junkhearts, The Awakening, Salvage, Eden Lake
- Tyson Oba: May I Kill U?
- Scorcher: The Intent
- Malachi Kirby: Fallen (2016), Dough, Kajaki, Gone Too Far, The Last Showing, My Brother The Devil
- Daniel Kendrick: Love Bite
- Jacob Anderson: Game of Thrones (TV), Broadchurch (TV), Comedown, Demons Never Die, 4-3-2-1, Chatroom, Kidulthood
- David Ajala: Kill Command, Jupiter Ascending, Starred Up, Fast and Furious 6, Payback Season, Adulthood
- Brian Vernel: Let Us Prey, The Casual Vacancy (TV)
- Mark Cooper Harris: The Crypt, Bonded By Blood 2, The Coven, Abducted, The Hooligan Wars, GBH, Outside Bet, The Holding
- Simon Phillips: Dystopia (TV), The Last Scout, No Easy Days (TV), He Who Dares 2, Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3, Shame The Devil, Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan, The Hooligan Wars, He Who Dares, Essex Boys Retribution, White Collar Hooligan 2, Fall of the Essex Boys, UFO (2013), The Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Airborne, The Reverend (2012), Ghosted, Bonded By Blood, How to Stop Being a Loser, Kill Keith, Jack Says, Jack Said, Jack Falls, Stagger, The Last Seven, Just For The Record, Risen, Cut
- Ruth Gemmell: Penny Dreadful (TV), Utopia (TV), Storage 24, F, Fever Pitch,
- Vas Blackwood: Rancour, We Still Steal The Old Way, Cryptic, The Guvnors, Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3, Essex Boys Retribution, It’s a Lot, White Collar Hooligan 2, Mercenaries, Rollin’ With The Nines, Creep, Mean Machine, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Lenny Henry Show (TV)