4.5 out 10
Release Date: 7th Of September 2012
Director: Frank Harper
Cast: Frank Harper, Craig Fairbrass, Vincent Regan, Neil Maskell, Ashley Walters, Luke Tredaway, Zlato Buric, Tony Denham, Nick Moran and Jamie Foreman with Dexter Fletcher, Sean Pertwee and Charles Dance
Writer: Urs Buehler & Frank Harper
Trailer: ST. GEORGE’S DAY
Here comes the directorial debut of UK gangster movie stalwart Frank Harper (TWENTYFOURSEVEN). A humourless but competent mix of Rise Of The Footsoldier and the original Italian Job. Cousins Ray (CRAIG FAIRBRASS – DEAD CERT) and Mickey (FRANK HARPER) are at the top of the crime pole in London. Ray is about to quit the game to set up a holiday resort in Spain. Mickey has to set up one last job to buy his cousin out. They risk everything they have on a shipment of £50M worth of drugs in a deal with the Russian Mob. Needless to say, there are complications and the pair, along with their crew have to find a way of getting the Mob their money. The subsequent plot involves tagging along with a football firm to a game in Berlin where they can pull off an elaborate heist. All the while they have a police snitch on the payroll and an obsessed cop with a vendetta, played with a pongy whiff by Jamie Foreman (NIL BY MOUTH).
So far so predictable, right? Well yes. Everything here has a place and it’s all present. Even the cast have played musical chairs from the last gangster movie. Vincent Regan (300) and Craig Fairbrass in particular know this territory well. So why did I like it. Simply, on it’s own terms it delivers. The acting is generally solid and the direction is standard. The plot is predictable but watchable. No surprises needed. What I could have done without was Frank Harper’s needless narration, where he come across like an East End take on Marvin The Android from Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. It’s banal and dopey. The script is work men like but there is chemistry between the leads which probably comes from the amount of times these guys have worked together. Again special mention goes to Neil Maskell (PIGGY), who is on another level to any of the other actors. He showed us in Kill List that he can be very individualistic and given the right project he can be captivating. His character Jimmy, is way down the pecking order here but he’s the most convincing on show in a gallery of roles that go from the cartoonish; Jamie Foreman, on up to text book Hollywood laconics from Charles Dance (ALIEN 3). I had hoped that Kill List had opened a few doors for Neil Maskell further up the hill. But whilst he’s in films like this he will always raise the ante. Sean Pertwee (EVENT HORIZON) shows up in a larger role than we’re used to seeing him in these days as a bent cop. He’s essentially wasted as usual and yet again avoids his standard gory death! Surely his main reason for turning up to a movie set is to get minced, shot, disemboweled, cooked or beheaded. He just gets a dildo waved at him on this occasion and called a wanker behind his back. Someone write Blue Juice 2!
Amazingly, and we were surprised, the “C” word is only used five times. It’s not worth counting the “F” word though because that’s in here a lot, as is the word boll*cks. To which we get an English lesson half way through as to how brilliant a word it is. Did you know that “F*ck” was an anagram? Me neither. It means Fornication Under Consent Of The King…. Well I never. I won’t admit to not knowing previously what the word posh stands for either. Got to leave at least one surprise if you didn’t already know.
St. George’s Day is far from perfect,its ridiculously patriotic, misquoting Shakespeare all over the place, there are quite a few technical gaffs and the plot is average. But on the whole it is very enjoyable if you like this kind of film. It’s anonymously directed by Frank Harper, but at least it’s not needlessly over flashy like the recent Offender or The Man Inside (2012). It’s also streets ahead of Bonded By Blood or the Jack Trilogy.
4.5 out of 10 – It’s far from a disaster. Enjoyable out of familiarity and comfort rather than it’s own merits. Elevated by good acting. Terrible voiceover though. At least it’s better than most of its contemporaries. Someone send Neil Maskell‘s agent some better projects.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Frank Harper: Billy, This Is England ’90 (voice) (TV), Ripper Street (TV), Victim, Screwed (2011), Streetdance, Just For The Record, Rise Of The Footsoldier, This Is England, The Football Factory, The Calcium Kid, Bend It Like Beckham, Club Du Monde, South West 9, Lucky Break, Goodbye Charlie Bright, Shiner, Kevin & Perry Go Large, A Room For Romeo Brass, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, TwentyFourSeven
- Craig Fairbrass: London Heist, Breakdown (2016), Vikingdom, Bula Quo, Get Lucky, St. George’s Day, Devil’s Playground, Dead Cert, Freight, Just For The Record, The Bank Job, Rise Of The Foot Soldier, White Noise 2, Dark Days, Beyond Bedlam, Cliffhanger, Eastenders (TV)
- Vincent Regan: The Last Photograph, Eat Local, City of Tiny Lights, The London Firm, Top Dog, Vendetta, Outside Bet, Snow White & The Huntsman, Lock Out, Ghost Rider 2, Bonded By Blood, The Holding, The Big I Am, 300, Hard Men
- Neil Maskell: In Darkness, The Mummy (2017), King Arthur – Legend of the Sword, Bone In The Throat, Level Up, High-Rise, Humans (TV), Hyena, Open Windows, Utopia (TV), Evil Never Dies, Dates (TV), The Rise, All Things To All Men, Pusher (2012), Piggy, Wild Bill (2012), Kill List, Turnout, Ghosted, Bonded By Blood, How To Stop Being a Loser, Tony, Jack Falls, Doghouse, Rise Of The Footsoldier, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, The Football Factory, Nil By Mouth
- Ashley Walters: The Bromley Boys, Take Down, Cuffs (TV), Montana,Top Boy (TV), All Stars, AnuvaHood, Demons Never Die, Sket, Speed Racer, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, Life & Lyrics, Goal, Stormchaser – Alex Rider, Bullet Boy
- Luke Treadaway: Fortitude (TV), Ethel and Ernest (voice), A Street Cat Named Bob, The Rise, Get Lucky, Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Attack The Block, Heartless, You Instead, Killing Bono, Clash Of The Titans, Brothers Of The Head,
- Zlato Buric: Montana, Pusher (2012), Pusher 1,2, 3 (Denmark)
- Tony Denham: We Still Die The Old Way, Missing In Greenwood, London Heist, We Still Steal The Old Way, Bonded By Blood 2, Miss You Already, Age of Kill, The Guvnors, We Still Kill The Old Way, The Hooligan Factory, Essex Boys Retribution, Vendetta, White Collar Hooligan 2, Fall of the Essex Boys, Turnout, The Shouting Men, Revolver, The Football Factory
- Nick Moran: Accident Man, The Habit of Beauty, Eat Local, Terminal, London Heist, My Name Is Lenny, Don’t Knock Twice, Age of Kill, Down Dog, Death (2014), The Kid (2010) (dir), Goal 3, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt 1 & 2, Telstar (dir), The Baby Juice Express, Puritan, The Musketeer, Another Life, Rancid Aluminium, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
- Jamie Foreman: The Bromley Boys, Eastenders (TV), Dead End (2013), The Grind, Screwed (2011), Ironclad, Baseline, Botched, Oliver Twist (2005), Layer Cake, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, The Football Factory, Goodbye Charlie Bright, Gangster No.1, Elizabeth I, This Year’s Love, Nil By Mouth
- Dexter Fletcher: Smoking Guns, Eat Local, Eddie The Eagle (dir), Age of Kill, The Coven, Muppets Most Wanted, Sunshine On Leith (dir), Cockneys Vs. Zombies, Wild Bill (2012), The Three Musketeers (2011), Everywhere + Nowhere, Baseline, Kick Ass, Jack Falls, Dead Cert, Stardust, Below, Layer Cake, Doom, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, The Rachel Papers, The Raggedy Rawney, Caravaggio, Press Gang (TV),
- Sean Pertwee: Gotham (TV), Howl (2015), Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa, The Seasoning House, Jo (TV), The Magnificent Eleven, UFO (2013), Wild Bill (2012), Four, 4-3-2-1, Devil’s Playground, Just For The Record, 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
- Charles Dance: Godzilla 2, That Good Night, Underworld 5, Despite The Falling Snow, Ghostbusters 3, Me Before You, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Child 44, Woman In Gold, The Imitation Game, Dracula Untold, Game Of Thrones (TV), Midnight’s Children, Underworld 4, Your Highness, Ironclad, Starter For Ten, Gosford Park, Ladies In Lavender (dir), Swimming Pool, Ali G In Da House, Black and White (2002), Hilary & Jackie, Michael Collins, Space Truckers, Exquisite Tenderness, China Moon, Century, The Last Action Hero, Alien 3, Hidden City, The Golden Child, White Mischief, James Bond – For Your Eyes Only