8.5 out of 10
Release Date: 13th September 2013
Director: Jules Bishop
Cast: Theo Barklem-Biggs, Phil Davis, Juliet Oldfield, Warren Brown, Ted Cozzolino, Jumayn Hunter, Andrew Ellis, Hammed Animashaun, Katie Stephen, Joey Fitzgerald and Perry Benson
Writer: Jules Bishop
Trailer: BORROWED TIME
I want to go on record that Borrowed Time is the funniest British film since Green Street 3, then I’d like to add that it’s the funniest British comedy since Four Lions. A lot of the UK critics said that this was too silly, yet its a comedy. Maybe they thought that it was too silly for the serious bits to work – I just think it made you like the characters even more. Borrowed Time was like a 21st Century version of Mike Leigh’s Meantime with added drug lords. Theo Barklem-Bigg’s (HAMMER OF THE GODS) Kevin is slightly less gormless than Meantime’s Tim Roth but that’s not saying much. The dialogue is highly quotable and funny if you can find borrowed time to watch Borrowed Time, (geddit) it’s got the potential to be one of the best kept comedy secrets of UK cinema. So pass it on!
Featuring towering lead performances from TV stalwart and Mike Leigh regular Phil Davis (ANOTHER YEAR) and Theo Barklem-Biggs, the paper thin plot sees dumbo Kevin caught up in a lost drugs scam with local nut Ninja Nigel (WARREN BROWN – DEAD SET) after trying to buy back a clock he stole from his sister from the pawn shop – hence the Borrowed Time title. Forced to rob and steal, and even with the useless assistance of his equally stoopid friends, he gets caught breaking into Phillip’s (DAVIS) dilapidated house. The house is full of stuffed animals and dusty antiques and there’s nothing worth nicking. The shut-in and the moron eventually come to an accord and an uneasy friendship is struck up. Kevin continues to avoid Ninja Nigel’s ridiculous wrath whilst trying to redeem himself by making amends with his angry sister, Becky (JULIET OLDFIELD – THE KNOT) and his four year old nephew,Grant (TED COZZOLINO).
Most of the enjoyment comes from the note perfect performances. As Ninja Nigel, Warren Brown is almost over-indulged by the director but his reading of the character is nothing short of stupendous. The man is a comic genius. I loved the fact he was so convinced he was a ninja (a mixed race Liverpudlian one at that) leaving up wanted posters on walls around the ‘hood’ with Japanese writing on just in case fellow Ninjas are around to help him in his quest for justice and retribution. “I will rain down on all of you with Shaolin fury!” had me in stitches. Kevin puts his reign of terror to an end in an air punching finale that contains the best put-down in the world. The plot turns are well sign posted but it’s the decoration and the details that make this a stand out. The cast is filled out with a few familiar faces – Perry Benson (MUM AND DAD) does his ‘nosey neighbour’ bit – this time he has a posh accent though<?>, the ubiquitous Jumayn Hunter (EDEN LAKE) shows up as the leader of Kevin’s gang of burks, amongst which is This Is England‘s Gadget (ANDREW ELLIS). The gang come across like a four headed stupid monster. More dopey than deadly, they are half the reason Ninja Nigel is so fearsome because they buy into his hype so much. Phil Davis is the best you’ve seen him in years. An ex-alcoholic shut-in with a taste for taxidermy, he even has a stuffed grizzly bear in his living room. He is humbug personified, but did the wardrobe department raid Worzel Gummidge‘s closet to clothe him? Only thing missing is the carrot nose and some newspaper and straw coming out of his sleeves. Good fun though and he draws ample pathos for his mad hermit.
8.5 out of 10 – Well written, extremely funny without being offensive or fashionable. Occasionally surreal, yet for all it’s ‘through the looking glass’ altered universe style, its no less characartured than a Mike Leigh movie. The humour maybe a bit broad for some but it’s well thought out, not scatalogical or forced. Nice to see a genuinely funny comedy for once. I look forward to seeing what director / writer Jules Bishop has up his/her sleeve and I want to see Theo Barklem-Biggs in some more challenging lead roles -a weird looking guy with buckets of talent.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Theo Barklem-Biggs: Hammer of the Gods, Silk (TV), The Man Inside (2012), Keith Lemon, The Age Of Heroes, The Inbetweeners Movie, 7Lives
- Phil Davis: Paradise UK, Golden Years, Dough,Mr Holmes, Age of Kill, In The Blood (2015), Silk (TV), Being Human (TV), Fast Girls, Outside Bet, Brighton Rock (2011), Another Year, Dead Man Running, The Big I Am, Just For The Record, Cassandra’s Dream, Notes On a Scandal, Vera Drake, Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Photographing Fairies, Crimetime, I.D. (dir), Blue Ice, Alien 3, High Hopes, The Bounty, Quadrophenia
- Juliet Oldfield: Greyhawk, The Hooligan Factory, The Knot, Bronson
- Warren Brown: Genesis, Kicking Off, Captain Webb, Luther (TV), Dead Set (TV)
- Jumayn Hunter: The Guvnors, Scintilla, Dom Hemingway, I Anna, Quartet, Piggy, Cherry Tree Lane, Attack The Block, Eden Lake
- Andrew Ellis: Invasion of the Not Quite Dead, Dough, This Is England ’90 (TV), The Knife That Killed Me, This Is England 88 (TV), Demons Never Die, This Is England 86 (TV), This Is England
- Perry Benson: This Is England ’90 (TV), Vinyl, I Anna, Outside Bet, Anuvahood, This Is England ’86 (TV), Dead Cert, Somers Town, Mum & Dad, This Is England, Mr In-Between, The Last Resort, Love Honour and Obey, Final Cut, Sid & Nancy, Scum