1 out of 10

Release Date: 24th February 2012

Director: J K Amalou (Assassin (2015))

Cast: Danny Dyer and Anna Walton

Writer: J K Amalou 


It breaks my heart to bring news of an all-time low in the film career of Danny Dyer (DEAD CERT).  You will struggle to find a worse portrayal of severe mental illness in the movies beyond the one he parades here in Deviation.

Pity poor Anna Walton (THE MUTANT CHRONICLES) who plays a nurse called Amber that gets kidnapped by a psychotic homicidal maniac called Frank who is on the run from Broadmoor prison.  She struggles bravely with an underwritten role that is every bit as schizophrenic as her abductor’s. Killing time before an early morning rendezvous (a private plane to Belgium), Frank seemingly keeps Amber alive for entertainment purposes.  Wish he’d have thought to entertain us too.  The plodding and boring story sees them drive around South London’s back streets, including Frank’s old manor for what seems like a decade. He even gets to murder an old acquaintance in the process. Actually, he kills about four or five people including a ‘fan’ who has been following his progress via news raido bulletins. Sounds half-entertaining, right? Wrong again. Frank’s victims are despatched left right and centre with no lustre or style.  This coincides all the while with Frank trying to convince Amber that he’s a great bloke deep down – he just has headaches.  He attempts to convince her how nice he is by having frequent stops at late night supermarkets for bags of chocolate bars and fizzy pop.  Her attempts at escape are half-arsed and laughable. Frank is so dim-witted that even a four year old could leave him in the dust. At various stages, our heroine fucks up about twelve escape attempts and yet she still doesn’t get her head sawn off (an Algerian Smile) with Frank’s Bic razor.

So sadly, this turns out NOT to be the career defining break out role the DVD / Movie poster boldly claims.  It’s hard to remember a thriller so un-thrilling.  It’s a very long journey back to the comparative heights of his early career. Is Mr Dyer alone to blame. Of course not.  It’s all crap.

The script has got a lot to answer for, here’s the best line. It occurs when Frank is describing his lack of luck with women. It goes “Her pussy disappeared so quickly.  Like a rabbit down a fucking hole!”  With dialogue that rotten there’s no hope.  The film limps to an equally limp conclusion which is identical to any number of thrillers of this ilk. Where as in most of the American versions the baddie plunges to their doom off a cliff top or a roof, we get a slow lack-lustre, gloomy no-budget equivalent with Frank being pushed over into some mud. So when I noticed the poster shouting ‘The Nightmare Has Just Begun!’ – I could tell that the makers are right about one thing, there would be sleep involved.

1 out of 10 – At least the next Danny Dyer film, no matter how bad it is,will have a serious challenge ahead to be worse than this.  This is the bounce-back point.  What we need is a comeback. And make it sharpish, please!!!


**Ed’s note – He out rottened Deviation with Basement!** 

JK Amalou & Danny Dyer have teamed up for a second crack at making a movie – Assassin for 2015. oh F*ck.



One thought on “DEVIATION

  1. DEVIATION review by Joe Pesci II

    Let’s be clear about one thing. This is not the worst Danny Dyer film I’ve seen. (That’s BASEMENT – still a candidate for the worst film I’ve ever seen despite strong (or weak) competition.) It’s still pretty poor though.

    Anna Walton plays a doctor or nurse (I can’t remember which and it doesn’t seem all that important) happily organising an evening in with dreary partner Joe and insufferable child Isabelle (or Phoebe or something like that) when she is suddenly whisked off her feet by charming psychopathic schizoid escaped prisoner Danny Dyer and has the night of her life. But in a bad way. Sadly Dyer’s charm utterly fails to win her over, possibly because of his kidnapping her and leaving a (quite short) trail of bodies in his wake. He does frequently offer her crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks, but she just doesn’t seem all that interested.

    So, Dyer has organised his escape from jail by getting himself wounded enough to go to hospital. Having hijacked Walton and her car what does he do next? He does what all escaping prisoners do: go to his accomplice’s safehouse, kill his faithful lipstick-wearing accomplice, have a shave and drive around London for twelve hours, pausing to kill a few more people, buy some chocolate and return to his childhood home for no apparent reason, whilst explaining to Walton what a nice guy he is really.

    Ah the psychopathic mind! A gift to lazy and bad writers the world over! It means that you always have an excuse. Why doesn’t Dyer kill Walton in the first thirty seconds of the film? Because he’s a psychopath and who knows what goes on in his mind? Why doesn’t he kill her when she tries to escape? Well, who knows what goes on in the mind of a psychopath? What kind of psychopath buys sweets for his kidnap victim but at no point attempts to rape her? A particularly psychopathic kind no doubt. (I’m not complaining about the lack of a rape, that’s quite refreshing in a way, (and she’s not pregnant either) but it does make you wonder just what this murderous psychopath does want. He just wants to be loved, that’ll be it. Although they natter forever, we never do find out much about Dyer’s past (oh, yes we do, sorry, it’s not very interesting and nothing particularly psychopath-creating).

    By some astounding coincidence Dyer happens to run into someone he knows (in London at 2am) so he kills him. He also, and I absolutely loved this because I had no idea that this was coming, meets a fan. Yes, he is saved from a tight spot by his number one fan! Who he then kills, because who knows what goes on the mind of a psychopath? I also loved the bit where they turn the car radio on just in time to hear a news bulletin reporting that Frankie Norton the violent psychopath has escaped. Not only had he escaped about, ooh, forty five seconds earlier, but they didn’t even bother with a ‘we interrupt this programme’ or anything. At one point he locks poor Anna Walton into a cupboard which also contains the rotting, skeletal remains of one of his victims. Am I being naïve in wondering why the police left the body there? Or did I miss a line where they said ‘and they never found the body’? And why does he not kill Walton? Why does he keep feeding her chocolate? Ah the mysteries of the psychopathic mind! And where did he get all those plastic tie things? How can you spend twelve hours driving out of London and still be in London?

    But I am nitpicking when there are bigger targets to fry. Danny Dyer plays one of the least interesting cinematic psychopaths you’re ever likely to encounter. He makes a game stab at portraying the many facets of the psychopathic psyche. Sadly it’s a bad stab. When he’s being nice he just looks like he’s going to fall about laughing. When he’s angry and psychopathic he just seems mildly miffed. Throughout he just gives the impression that he’s trying really, really hard, bless him. I have said it before, I like Danny Dyer. But I’m beginning to wonder if he shouldn’t just surrender his ego up and dive further down the cast lists. He’s charismatic enough as a leading man, but he just seems devoid of the ability. (Honestly, I thought that sentence would end more positively.) Maybe he would be better in supporting and guest star roles, as DEVIATION shows he cannot carry a movie. So does BASEMENT. But he’s really good in DEAD MAN RUNNING where he’s the best friend character. I rest my case. Just so long as nobody mentions THE LAST SEVEN.

    Unfortunately the film’s not all bad. There’s a bit of nice location footage from time to time during the endless night as they drive slowly out of London by way of every sweet shop (there are a lot open at 3am if you’re ever in need of a sudden malteser). And the film saves time (MASSIVE SPOILER ON THE WAY) by having the villain die just once. None of that stupid Hollywood business where he suddenly lurches up after having half his head severed (Dyer doesn’t have half his head severed; I mean in general). No, he’s dead pretty quickly. (END OF SPOILER.) And Anna Walton is really good as the panic-struck doctor / nurse. Alas her efforts are wasted. Actually, thinking about it, she puts in a terrific performance. After all she has to act utterly terrified by Danny Dyer at his cuddliest, and does so with aplomb.

    I had assumed this was the work of a debut writer / director. It is not. I was going to make some patronising remark about how bits of the film were promising, but frankly, after more than fifteen years in the job my advice to Mr Amalou would be to do something else instead.

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