3 out of 10
Release Date: 26th December 2014
Cast: Ian Ogilvy, Alison Doody, Danny-Boy Hatchard, Lysette Anthony, Chris Ellison, Tony Denham, Dani Dyer, Red Madrell, Johnny Palmiero, Nathan Clarke, Nicky Henson, Elijah Baker, Sagar Radia, George Weightman featuring Anouska Mond, Adele Silva with James Cosmo and Steven Berkoff
Writer: Dougie Brimson, Gary Lawrence, Sacha Bennett
Trailer: WE STILL KILL THE OLD WAY
TO BE PROOFREAD: After the relative heights of Vendetta and Top Dog, producer Jonathan Sothcott has backed a lame donkey with this tired Harry Brown / Reservoir Dogs-style revenge flick. At face value it would seem that a safe game has been played by the makers producing another revenge flick following the sucess of last year’s Vendetta – however in the latter Danny Dyer (it’s lead actor) pulled out all the stops to deliver a wrought and layered character, whereas the vengeful creeps in We Still Kill The Old Way are cardboard cut-out stereotypes who are hard to root for. In Vendetta there was a real sense of loss and retribution – in We Still Kill The Old Way we have a lazy script and threadbare plotting.
Former London gangster Richie’s (IAN OGILVY – RETURN OF THE SAINT) brother Charlie (STEVEN BERKOFF – RED 2) is murdered by young thug Aaron’s (DANNY-BOY HATCHARD – EASTENDERS) gang after he interrupts the gang-rap of Lauren (DANI DYER -AGE OF KILL) . Richie decides to assemble his old crew and avenge Charlie. Meanwhile, the a dogged copper Taylor (ALISON DOODY – MAJOR LEAGUE 2) is determined to stop the gang war before it begins.
Films like this stand or fall according to how good the villain is – here we have newcomer Danny-Boy Hatchard putting in a staggeringly overripe performance along the lines of English Frank‘s in Offender or Jay Brown‘s in Fall of the Essex Boys. His film debut is a corny blend of overplay and pantomime shenanigans. He’s not helped by Dani Dyer as the least convincing rape victim in the history of cinema (she even has a milkshake with one of the attackers afterwards!) Debuting in Vendetta, she showed some promise – here she’s exposed as out of her depth even in what has turned out to a really basic one-note role. The film only comes to life when the central cast of Ian Ogilvy, Chris Ellison (THE BILL), Tony Denham (FALL OF THE ESSEX BOYS) and James Cosmo (BRAVEHEART) share banter – whether reminiscing about the old days or torturing Aaron’s footsoldiers. You get a glimpse into how lively and fun the film could have been if it had ever gotten into full swing and given them more screentime to shine. However, they’re thinly sketched beyond their function within their crime clique. Many scenes ring false, our hero Richie intimidates recent rape victim Lauren into helping him in her place of work – this is a sickening scene and naive writing – not even Death Wish / Sin City or the most misogynistic of crime flicks would get something so wrong. She seems more frightened by her encounter with her avenging angel than her rapist. It just doesn’t ring true and is perhaps the worst fictional portrayal of a rape victim ever written. Lysette Anthony (THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE) pops up in her first major role in years as Richie’s former crush Lizzie and all she does is hang around in a shit beret extolling the virtues of old-school criminals compared to the yobs of today. My god does her character whinge. She has the Eastenders equivalent of 10 years of moaning. In some quarters the film has been congrstulated for giving space to strong female characters. This is a red herring and female viewers would feel right to be angry. The rape scene and the victim’s recovery was scripted without thought or research and is a gross insult eventhough this film pretends to be a rote-thriller.
The violence and rationalisation of all that it contains is strictly comic strip – one that rarely crackles to life. It’s a large step-back for Richwater Films after the excellent Danny Dyer comeback vehicle Vendetta and the above average Top Dog. We Still Kill The Old Way is pedestrian and tedious exercise and does very little to add anything new to the already crowded pantheon of UK Gangster films. It’s also unfortunate that this was released the same week (on DVD) as the way superior and similarly plotted The Guvnors that improves on We Still The Old Way in absolutely every department – they both feature Tony Denham and he’s way better in the former. Now Britpic has just learnt the really depressing news that Richwater Films will be producing Bonded by Blood 2 – yet another Essex Boys murder legacy movie. Their hot-streak was depressingly short which is a shame I was really hoping they’d go from strength to strength. I’d sooner see a sequel to his production Unarmed and Dangerous than watch another Landrover murder movie! At least We Still The Old Way is from an ‘original’ (and I use that word spuriously) script!
We Still Kill The Old Way lacks the gloss and slickess of Vendetta too. The action scenes here are clunky and the climatic shoot-out in a hospital ward is difficult to follow or enjoy. A better script, more attention to detail, a stronger cast with no Danis or Danny-Boy’s, better written lead roles and a better range of cardboard cartoon cut-outs this could have been fun -instead it’s a hollow, callous and boring chore.
3 out of 10 – Buy The Guvnors instead. Very similar plot yet it doesn’t insult yor intelligence or get the very ‘serious’ subject of rape so very, very, very, very wrong. Way off base. Seems Jonathan Sothcott and co ‘Still Film The Old Way’. Let’s hope his next production Age of Kill entertains.
PS: There are threats of a sequel on the way that targets bankers. The Daily Mail would be proud.
Second review from Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II below.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Ian Ogilvy: We Still Steal The Old Way, My Life In Ruins, Puppet Master 5, Death Becomes Her, Return of The Saint (TV), No Sex Please – We’re British, Upstairs Downstairs (TV), Waterloo (TV), Wuthering Heights (1970), The Invincible Six, Witchfinder General, She Beast
- Alison Doody: Division 19, King Solomon’s Mines, Major League 2, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, A Prayer For The Dying, James Bond – A View To a Kill
- Danny-Boy Hatchard: Eastenders (TV)
- Lysette Anthony: We Still Steal The Old Way, Mob Handed, Strippers vs. Werewolves, Dracula – Dead and Loving It, Look Who’s Talking Now, Dr Jekyll & Ms Hyde, The Hour Of The Pig,Husbands and Wives, The Pleasure Principle, Krull
- Chris Ellison: Tango One, We Still Steal The Old Way, Bonded By Blood 2, Mob Handed, Celebrity Big Brother (TV), Basement, Bonded By Blood, The Bill (TV), Buster
- Tony Denham: The Chatterfield Possession, London Heist, Bonded By Blood 2, Miss You Already, Age of Kill, The Guvnors, The Hooligan Factory, Essex Boys Retribution, Vendetta, White Collar Hooligan 2, Fall of the Essex Boys, St. George’s Day, Turnout, The Shouting Men, Revolver, The Football Factory
- Dani Dyer: Bonded By Blood 2, Age of Kill, Vendetta
- Red Madrell: Brotherhood, It’s a Lot, Adulthood, Kidulthood
- Johnny Palmiero: Collide, Bonded By Blood 2, Rise of the Footsoldier 2, Age of Kill, Top Dog, Bonded By Blood, The Kid, Green Street
- Nicky Henson: We Still Steal The Old Way, Gozo, Draw On Sweet Night, Narcopolis, Eastenders (TV), Me Without You, Parting Shots, Shine On Harvey Moon (TV), Anyone For Sex?, There’s a Girl In My Soup, The Death Wheelers, All Coppers Are…, Witchfinder General, The Frost Report (TV)
- Sagar Radia: Namastey London
- George Weightman: The Smoke
- Anouska Mond: We Still Steal The Old Way, Age of Kill, Assassin (2015), United We Fall, Evil Never Dies, Ill Manors, In Your Dreams
- Adele Silva: Strippers Vs Werewolves, How To Stop Being a Loser, Emmerdale (TV)
- James Cosmo: Tomorrow (2016), The Eliminators, Whiskey Galore (2016), London Heist, Ben Hur (2016), Dark Signal, Project 12 – The Bunker, Breakdown (2016), The Christmas Candle, Citadel, Hammer Of The Gods, Get Lucky, Game Of Thrones (TV), Outcast, Half Light, The Chronicles Of Narnia – The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe, Troy, The Four Feathers (2002), Once Upon a Time In The Midlands, The Match, Babe 2 (voice), Emma (1996), Trainspotting, Braveheart, Stormy Monday, Highlander
- Steven Berkoff: London Heist, Rise of the Footsoldier 2, North V South, Red 2, GBH, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (US), 44 Inch Chest, The Tourist, Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, The Big I Am, Just For The Record, Dead Cert, Steal, Rancid Aluminium, Fair Game (1994), Decadence, The Krays, Beverly Hills Cop, Absolute Beginners, McVicar, Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange