REDIRECTED

4.5 out of 10

UK / Lithuania co-production

Release Date: 13th November 2014

Director: Emilys Vylivis

Cast: Vinnie Jones, Scot Williams, Gil Darnell, Oliver Jackson, Anthony Strachan, Andrius Ziurauskas, Vita Siauciunaite and Vytautas Sapranauskas

Writer: Jonas Banys & Lewis Britnell

Trailer: REDIRECTED

images-1Redirected assaults the senses in the same way that old 90s TV phenomenon used to. Who remembers Eurotrash? For those that don’t it was a queasy magazine show that highlighted unusual practices (usually sex or food related) that would happen for money or behind closed doors across Europe.  Redirected could easily have been called EuroTrash the movie as it’s just an insane blend of inexplicable nonsense, framing a country your average English man knows zero about for being the sink hole of everything mad, deviant, scary and European. Apparently, Redirected is the largest grossing movie in Lithuania (at the time of writing) in cinematic history. This goes to prove there’s probably more to this film than meets the eye.

Three shit cockney gangsters (GIL DARNELL, OLIVER JACKSON, ANTHONY STRACHAN) con their best friend (SCOT WILLIAMS – THE CREW) into being a getaway driver for them. The robbery in question is of a bunch of drugs / cash (can’t remember) and a ring very precious to Vinnie Jones’ (THE CONDEMNED) horrible gangster. They intend to run away to Malaysia and set up themselves up for life. Their flight gets redirected to Lithuania, a land of double crosses, wacky gangsters, homocidal gypsies and fake ambulances. Somehow, Vinne Jones picks up the lame quartet’s trail and follows suit to “Lithu-fucking-what?”

The film is constructed of chapters as our heroes get split up and find themselves on their own adventures. Eventually all roads lead to a bizarre gypsy wedding where all three parties face off over the precious ring. Somehow, a bunch of rocket launchers and limousines pop up, animals and hefty Lituanian gangsters get mashed up. The pigs should have been credited as special guest stars as their seems to be a lot of them in Lithuania / in this movie.

images

There’s fun to be had if you like this sort of caper, but the main plot has been seen many times before, it’s just the window dressing that’s different. In this variation alone you can find a lot to enjoy. The main guys aren’t interesting enough to follow into the melee and Vinnie Jones is reliable in that he brings his ‘off the peg’ anger / befuddlement to the show. The story lines up a sequel, so expect a Misdirected in the next few years – given that that Lithuanians have sequels and weren’t just pitching for an east European style non-ending. Can you imagine?

4.5 out of 10 – Well put together but as spicy as a potato, fans of Vinnie Jones and wacky gangster capers need apply. Those with low expectations will be sorely disappointed though as there is some enjoyment to be had.

See below for Matt Usher’s review too. He’s got Lithuanian Uncles…

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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One thought on “REDIRECTED

  1. Review by Matt Usher

    Vinnie Jones continues his improbable ‘acting’ career by gracing this strange Anglo-Lithuanian film with a performance which veers from standard angry Jones (anyone who enjoys seeing Mr Jones making threats like ‘give me my f***ing money you f***ing c**t’ will be warmly comforted by this cosily familiar approach, as drowse-making as a nice bubble-bath) to standard gormless Jones (the man is so self-conscious he can’t convincingly carry a coffee to a checkout without looking like he’s trying to remember what he’s meant to be doing). But pshaw! We don’t watch Vinnie Jones to be moderately amused by his inability to look like someone shopping in a shop, we watch his films, well, why? In this utterly bizarre blood-besmirched comedy he plays a chap who, for reasons largely unexplored, finds himself being robbed of his money by some incompetent thugs. Fortunately he is the leader of a similar bunch of thugs, so one bunch of thugs follows the other from an amusingly named London pub (The Big Tits – honest) all the way to Lithuania in time to disrupt a refugee-smuggling farmer’s wedding.

    Vinnie Jones can be congratulated his unpredictable choice of films. They’re usually terrible but none can be said to be a typical. There is no typical Jones film, as REDIRECTED demonstrates. There is, obviously, a typical Jones performance, which involves him looking like he’s trying to remember what he’s meant to be doing then snarling a bit, and that performance is here. But the film is a weird black comedy action thriller.

    It isn’t notably violent (at least in the context of violent straight-to-DVD Vinnie Jones films) but it does follow in the tradition of LOCK STOCK in that it’s supposed to be a black comedy. Maybe it’s because it’s an international co-production, but this comedy thriller falls short in two departments: comedy (maybe it’s really funny in Lithuanian), and thrills (again, it could be the most exciting film ever made in Lithuania – it’s not a cinematic culture with which I am familiar). Much of the comedy revolves around inappropriate bedroom antics, generally with regard to human protagonists finding themselves in compromising situations with animals by accident (a goat on the wrong end of a bald thug who earlier seemed to be attempting to copulate with a cuddly toy; there are numerous pigs scattered throughout). I shall merely note that I watched REDIRECTED a couple of days after a not-particularly-surprised world heard the completely unproven yet strangely credible allegations about the British prime minister’s porcine past.

    It’s extremely professionally made, the faults being not so much in execution as in its ham-fisted stupidity. True, the acting is poor and the script is basic (rarely a sentence goes by without containing at least 40% profanity – which gets incredibly predictable – even in Lithuanian) but the film has a glossy look, it’s properly edited, and has flashy chapter titles all the way through. It looks like a bit of money has been spent on it and the plot is (and I hate to say this) cleverly thought-through. That’s not to say it’s a good plot, though it is one of the oldest plots there is. It’s all about a ring. And rings are, as we all know from our Tolkien and Wagner, things of immense symbolic power. It is Jones’ quest for his ring, ripped brutally from his own hand,

    which is the motor of the film’s menace, whilst our heroes, intending no doubt to live out their days in Malaysian debauchery, find themselves on a redirected flight (hence the title) leaving them in Lithuania, a country which appears to be a hive of scum and villainy: pervert priests, murderous police, welshing prostitutes, and ambulance drivers raping unconscious patients for comic effect.

    Jones does his usual stuff (i.e. shouts, swears, looks incredibly uncomfortable). But he’s only the villain (his role is relatively small but I haven’t given him a bad enough press previously). Ostensibly the hero is Scot Williams, playing a soldier who unwittingly becomes a getaway driver for his moronic thieving pals who don’t tell him he’s a getaway driver. This would be quite funny if The IT Crowd hadn’t already done it. Alas, Williams is hopeless, flailing unconvincingly as someone flailing. He fails at flailing. His colleagues aren’t much better. There’s a couple who have a Laurel and Hardy look to them, but aren’t as funny. And then there’s Gil Darnell who spends the majority of the film naked and chained to a radiator. And that’s about all that can be said for him.

    The film is divided into a number of chapters, within which the narrative follows one character for some time before leaving him in a perilous situation. The structure doesn’t quite work, but it’s a nice attempt at character juggling. But the film, being in some ways an old-fashioned farce, gathers momentum, finds dumb ways to deposit characters in some deliberately unlikely situations and just about succeeds in being a very silly sort of Carry On Lock Stock.

    In some respects REDIRECTED is a film for our time: there are even African refugees (albeit staggeringly offensively stereotypical comedy ones). It’s also an examination of the British-European debate (the conclusion being that Europe would be a better place without Britain). We even get a coda warning of Mr Putin’s territorial ambitions.

    And what do we learn of Lithuania? Well, it doesn’t look as cold as I’d always assumed. And if I was Vladimir Putin I’d be quite glad not to be responsible for it any more. On the other hand, if I was Putin, I’d probably think it would be really easy to conquer. REDIRECTED is probably not what the Lithuanian Tourist Board would have liked it to be, but with its presentation of Lithuania as a bestial Babylon of loose women, looser priests (played by Lithuania’s now suicidally deceased answer to Shane Ritchie), and slovenly tawdriness, I suspect it’ll probably serve to introduce a certain class of British tourist to the wonders of this Baltic state.

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