4.5 out of 10
Release Date: 26th March 2010
Director: Mo Ali (Montana)
Cast: Ashley Thomas, Kedar Stirling-Williams, Adam Deacon, Michael Socha, Jan Uddin, Kaya Scodelario, Jennie Jacques, Jerome Holder, Rheanne Murray, Robert Fucilla, Colin Salmon, Aml Ameen and Luke De Woolfson with Robbie Gee and Terry Stone
Writer: Paul Van Carter
Here we have one of the warmer received urban thrillers that sprang up in the wake of Kidulthood. Shank shares the same creative team as said film and Everywhere + Nowhere. Shank is set in the near future where resources are so depleted inner London is now a Mad Max lite zone ran by feral gangs and families. One such family is led by Rager (ASHLEY THOMAS – THE MAN INSIDE) and his younger brother, Junior (KEDAR STIRLING WILLIAMS). Making up their tight crew are friends played by Adam Deacon (EVERYWHERE + NOWHERE), Michael Socha (THIS IS ENGLAND) and Jan Uddin (BLACK GOLD). Junior’s run in with a local gang leader, Tugz (JEROME HOLDER – HOLBY CITY), over a food heist leads to fatal consquences for one of their number. They swear an oath of vengeance and aim to get even by any cost. Learning that the killer is well protected and difficult to find they embark on a journey that takes them across enemy territory, which will bring them face to face with even worse foes than Tugz.
Shank fails to convince in its depiction of a desolate future. The production design is slipshod and low budget. The street scenes are under-populated and everything looks tired and staged. The acting from the well known leads is quite stilted on this occasion. It’s a shame because some of the action is impressive, the opening foot vs. motorbike chase around a tower block complex in particular. Its left to the cameoes from the likes of a best yet Terry Stone (THE HOLDING) as a fast food restauranteur that specialises in pigeon and Robbie Gee (DEAD MAN RUNNING), who explains the butterfly effect to tortuous degrees, to spice up the fam’s journey. Colin Salmon (EXAM) has a baffling and pointless cameo as a shopper intent on buying an apple for a scene that seems to last 30 minutes. Baffling! The whole exercise feels like an irritating version of The Warriors with a bickering cast of Grange Hill graduates. Shank clearly knows what type of film it wants to be but it lacks the energy or style or even performances to elevate this above the forgettable. Adam Deacon and co fail to shade their characters, they are saddled with bad dialogue and boring situations. What action sequences there are, are good but events rarely escalate above a shuffle. Some girls show up later int he game to assist the boys on their quest. Again, good up and coming actresses like Kaya Scodelario (NOW IS GOOD) and Jennie Jacques (TRUTH OR DARE) are wasted and fulfil their roles as skanky skits. The only type of woman to have been strong enough to survive the collapse of society.
There are some good ideas fighting their way out somewhere in Shank but mostly any message has been choked to death by the lack of energy or care put into the project. Stick with The Warriors, at least the dialogue was kept to the minimum there. Here every time someone opens their mouths, crap dialogue screeches out and in doing so kills any interest there may have been.
4.5 out of 10: Shank? More like Skank. Good action sequences and memorable cameos are all this has going for it. Which ain’t saying much.
WHAT HAVE IS SEEN THAT YOOT IN BEFORE?
- Ashley Thomas: A Hundred Streets, My Brother The Devil, The Man Inside (2012), Cockneys Vs. Zombies, The Veteran, 4-3-2-1
- Kedar Stirling-Williams: Montana, Wolfblood (TV)
- Adam Deacon: To Dream, Montana, Babylon (TV), Comedown, Outside Bet, Victim, Payback Season, AnuvaHood, Bonded By Blood, Jack Falls, Everywhere + Nowhere, 4-3-2-1, Adulthood, Kidulthood, Wilderness
- Michael Socha: The Aliens (TV), This Is England ’90 (TV), Being Human (TV), Svengali, Spike Island, Twenty8K, Shank, This Is England 88 (TV), This Is England 86 (TV), Better Things, Cut, Summer, This Is England
- Jan Uddin: Black Gold
- Kaya Scodelario: Maze Runner 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Maze Runner 2, Tiger House, Maze Runner, Skins (TV), Now Is Good, Twenty8K, Wuthering Heights (2011), Moon
- Jennie Jacques: Vikings (TV), Demons Never Die, Truth Or Die, Cherry Tree Lane, 7Lives
- Jerome Holder: Dough, Honeytrap, Holby City (TV), The Story of Tracy Beaker (TV)
- Robert Fucilla: The Contract (2016), The Magnificent Eleven, Mercenaries, Bonded By Blood, Pimp, The Big I Am
- Luke De Woolfson: Late Night Shopping
- Aml Ameen: Soy Negro, Beyond The Lights, Maze Runner, The Butler, Red Tails, Kidulthood
- Robbie Gee: The Intent, Plastic, The Fades (TV), Bad Day, Dead Man Running, Hush, Life and Lyrics, Cass, Rollin’ With The Nines, Underworld, Mean Machine, Snatch, G:MT – Greenwich Mean Time, Desmonds (TV), The Firm (1989)
- Terry Stone: Away, Bonded By Blood 2, Plastic, Saving Santa (voice), Get Lucky, Outside Bet, Anuvahood, The Holding, Bonded By Blood, Shank, Ten Dead Men, Jack Said, Doghouse, Unarmed and Dangerous, Rise Of The Foot Soldier, Rollin’ With The Nines, Hell To Pay
- Colin Salmon: Meet Pursuit Delange, London Has Fallen, 24 (TV), Arrow (TV), Resident Evil 5, Stalker (2011), Just For The Record, Devil’s Playground, How To Stop Being a Loser, Exam, Clubbed, Blood – The Last Vampire, Punisher – War Zone, The Bank Job, Match Point, Resident Evil, Alien Vs. Predator, James Bond: The World Is Not Enough, James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond – Die Another Day, My Kingdom, Fanny and Elvis, The Wisdom Of Crocodiles, Captives