3 out of 10
Release date: 3rd January 2014 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Paul Tanter ( The Fixer (2016) / Dystopia (TV) / The Disappearance of Lenka Wood / No Easy Days (TV) / He Who Dares 2 / Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3 / Shame The Devil / The Hooligan Wars / He Who Dares / White Collar Hooligan 2 / Fall of the Essex Boys / Rise of the White Collar Hooligan / Jack Falls)
Cast: Ian Virgo, Billy Murray, Ryan Winsley, Kyle Summercorn, Alex Esmail, Kye Loren, Martin Fisher, Paul Marlon, Yasmin Mitri, Nalan Burgess with Lorraine Stanley and Vas Blackwood
Writer: Paul Tanter
Trailer: ESSEX BOYS RETRIBUTION
Essex Boys Retribution is a fictional sequel to Fall of the Essex Boys. Essex Boys Retribution claws an extra point over it’s predecessor in that it’s original material and it doesn’t have three preceding films covering identical ground. There’s no Essex Boys, Rise of The Footsoldier or Bonded By Blood equivalent to this ‘effort’. I doubt that this will ever see anyone trying to remake it though. I’ll be very surprised indeed, but not as surprised as I was to see this film in the first place. I was warned by an industry insider that like it or not there where more Essex Boys films to follow Fall of the Essex Boys and I laughed and thought, enough is enough. Well at least this is not another tired remake. That’s all it’s got going for it. Literally. What it’s got against it is that it’s a tired sequel, and it seems like a cash-in because it only barters tenuous links to the first film.
A mysterious prisoner (to the audience) played by Billy Murray (RISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER), back to murk the film casting chronology universes, is interviewed by a journalist (MARTIN FISHER – VENDETTA) about a new breed of Essex criminal. This all new, sleeker, tech-savvy order of ‘Essex Boy’ is always one step ahead of the pigs. They can make drugs from legal over-the-counter products whilst smoking cigarettes next to flammable chemicals. They could be immortal. They are also oblivious to how obnoxious, unfunny to anyone but themselves, uncool and un-anything they are. When they make the move up the crime ladder they also seem to be unaware that eliminating the ‘old-school’ could get them killed and as technophobic as old-bill may be they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. So what is the ‘prisoner’s’ connection to the new gang?
I actually forgot to listen to listen, so I don’t know. But most of what Billy Murray was telling us was again employed with that mock awe-inspired tone that Nick Nevern adopted for his narration in part one – the one as if he’s describing a fight in the school playground. More problems arise when you look at some obvious slips in details. Scenes change from day to night in a heartbeat, Billy Murray has a deep tan and really long hair (is hair that long allowed in jail!). He looks like he’s just walked off the beach. The dialogue is repetitive, the acting on the most part is over the top but better than anything in Fall of the Essex Boys. There seems to be some chemistry between the central four actors Ian Virgo (WITCHVILLE), Alex Esmail (ATTACK THE BLOCK), Kyle Summercorn (TURNOUT) and Ryan Winsley (PIGGY). Unfortunately, the dialogue and their roles are all one-note. As there is much less event to cram into it’s slender 80 minutes – there is a bit of time to try to establish them but this only serves to expose the writing short comings of the author, Paul Tanter. Out of the four – Ian Virgo does his overacting crazy loon schtick that I haven’t seen since Just For The Record; Alex Esmail is sadly the most miscast as a weedy chemist – who seems as unlikely drug dealer as you’ll ever seen in a film. And that’s a shame because Esmail showed such promise in Attack The Block – he really needs to get some better work; I think Kyle Summercorn will be the actor that will outgrow this kind of crap soon and get to the level of Daniel Mays or Ben Whishaw within a few years. He’s been a standout in each of the films Britpic has seen him in. As for Ryan Winsley, it was unfortunate that his character was the equivalent of ‘Animal‘ out of the Muppets and is left with little more to do that shout ‘c*nt’ a lot. The next Essex Boys film should have a character that only ever says that word. His name could be ‘Mr C*nt.’
The plot was OK. But tedious. The outcome could have come earlier and was fairly pleasing apart from Ian Virgo‘s gleeful reaction when his fate is unveiled – an awful display of overacting. The only pluses that can be gained from watching this are that it doesn’t repeat the missteps of Fall of the Essex Boys. It hasn’t any truly bad casting anomalies like that of Jay Brown or Ewan Ross from the first film. It’s an original story. The story is OK. I liked Lorraine Stanley (MADE IN DAGENHAM), Vas Blackwood (WHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN 2) and it was nice to see Billy Murray for the first time in ages do his usual thing. Its just that it rolls along like its way too pleased with itself but it’s not cool, or ahead of the curve. It’s puerile, sluggish, dim-witted, unfunny and not half as smart as it thinks it is. It thinks its the last Coca-Cola in the desert when it’s really super market brand goats spunk. It did get my attention though and it’s bound to sell heaps to an undemanding variation on today’s true English man.
3 out of 10 – Think of this as the Essex Boys equivalent of The Muppet Babies to the Muppet Show. An annoying spin-off that somehow improved on the part one by learning from a few of it’s predecessor’s mistakes. Mind you, it was hard to find a worse film than part one, right?
Second review below by Matt “Rise of the Yorkshire Pudding Boys” Usher
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Ian Virgo: The Lighthouse, The Beat Beneath My Feet, ABCs of Death 2, The Estate, Witchville, Dead Cert, Just For The Record,Clubbed, Rollin With The Nines, Rise Of The Footsoldier
- Billy Murray: We Still Steal The Old Way, What’s The Score?, The Disappearance of Lenka Wood, One In The Chamber, Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Airborne (2012), Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Stalker (2011), Freight, Devil’s Playground, Dead Cert, Just For The Record, Doghouse, Rise Of The Footsoldier, Rollin With The Nines, Hell To Pay, Eastenders (TV), Essex Boys, The Bill (TV), McVicar
- Ryan Winsley: He Who Dares 2, ABCs of Death 2, Piggy, Hush Your Mouth
- Kyle Summercorn: Abducted, Private Peaceful, Turnout, Dead Set (TV)
- Alex Esmail: Northern Soul, Payback Season, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Attack The Block
- Kye Loren: Underbelly, He Who Dares
- Martin Fisher: Shame The Devil, Vendetta, The Hooligan Wars, Family Affairs (TV)
- Paul Marlon: Dangerous Mind of Hooligan
- Lorraine Stanley: No Reasons, A Hundred Streets, Suffragette, Legend (2015), The Guvnors, The Hooligan Factory, Top Dog, He Who Dares, The Hooligan Wars, GBH, Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, Made In Dagenham, Cass, London To Brighton
- Vas Blackwood: Rancour, Cryptic, We Still Steal The Old Way, The Guvnors, Meet The Firm, It’s a Lot, White Collar Hooligan 2, Offender, Mercenaries, Creep, Rollin With The Nines, Mean Machine, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Lenny Henry Show (TV)