5 out of 10
Release Date: 26th December 2015 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Ricci Harnett
Cast: Ricci Harnett, Luke Mably, Coralie Rose, Johnny Palmiero, Joshua Osei, Scott Peden, Nabil Elouahabi, Andy Linden, Slaine Kelly, Tygo Gernandt, Georgia Bourke with Jasper Britton and Steven Berkoff
Writer: Ricci Harnett
Trailer: RISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER 2
Sick of films about Essex gangsters? Well, obviously the DVD buying public aren’t. So here we are again. A sequel to answer those wondering what became of former Essex Boys associate Carlton Leach (KILL THE BITCH) after the events of Rise of the Footsoldier.
The answer is not a lot. But saying that Ricci Harnett (TURNOUT) has found his signature role and makes a good job of building up the myth for Mr Leach. He certainly makes his muse proud here, kicking off over small mishaps, being nice to children, horrible to naked ladies and stopping to regret that he’s not the type of bloke to look at rainbows (but he wishes he was – or something). The amount of people that die in this film, it’s a wonder that Leach isn’t buried under the jail, but this is the point isn’t it. These films are built to enthrall, scare and build myths, not so much bore you with facts – see Essex Boys – The Truth that crams in so much detail it would send the average viewer into a coma. So what’s true and what isn’t shouldn’t bother the majority. Is it any good? Well, I’d say it’s quite good as it keeps you watching, it’s a suitable sequel and there’s no dip in quality, so it’s not a cheap cash-in. The acting’s OK, and the film is cast with stalwarts of the game, although Luke Mably (EXAM) seems a bit bewildered by his quietly psychotic henchman’s torture methods and weird monologue about comparing such methods to listening to pop music on vinyl.
We catch up with Carlton Leach being muscled out of his nightclub, but he’s given a last chance by local gangster to be a debt collector. It’s all going well until one night he has to drop out of collection in Ibiza when his mystery / forgotten son turns up out of the blue. Leach gets to show his tender side in these familial scenes but elsewhere the ‘job’ in Ibiza goes wrong and people die. There are consequences and Mr Leach has to do some fast thinking to get out of the jam or die. Well the ending is daft as ‘comedy vampire’ from The Reverend (2012) shows up once more to overact and send the film back to the bottom of the cheap racks at Asda.
If you like nude women there are stacks to leer over in this film, but there’s price. You also see Ricci Harnett‘s bum crack. Only a low-budget, megalomaniac actor/director would make us look at his arse crack. Maybe it’s a message to his critics. Or is it a message to Bernard O’Mahoney (ESSEX BOYS – THE TRUTH) who’s been busy discrediting Mr Leach for his direct involvement with the Essex Boys? Who knows? But there you have it crack addicts.
So it’s quiet praise but this is a lot better film than we’ve come expect from the ever growing ‘Essex crime-genre’. It’s a worthy sequel to Rise of the Footsoldier (there’s no crap wigs in this one). And Ricci Harnett is a good actor in this kind of role. It’s also got a baffling one-scene cameo by Steven Berkoff (THE BIG I AM) as a comedy doctor? Can’t get to bottom of that one.
5 out of 10 – Solid, worthy sequel to the first one. Nothing great, beyond giving Ricci Harnett a chance to walk around in the character that made his name.
Second review down below by Matt ‘Ave a go, mate’ Usher
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Ricci Harnett: Top Dog, Vendetta, The Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Ill Manors, Turnout, Psychosis, Rise Of The Footsoldier, Joy Division, 28 Days Later
- Luke Mably: The Ghost Writer, Isolation (2016), Exam, The Prince and Me
- Coralie Rose: Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Dead Cert, Rise Of The Footsoldier
- Johnny Palmiero: Collide, Bonded By Blood 2, Age of Kill, We Still Kill The Old Way, Top Dog, Bonded By Blood, The Kid (2010), Green Street
- Joshua Osei: Vendetta, Life Just Is, Ill Manors
- Scott Peden: D Is For Detroit
- Nabil Elouahabi: Sand Castle, Top Boy (TV), Tower Block, Junkhearts, Deserter, In This World, Code 46
- Andy Linden: In The Blood (2015), Ghosted, Huge, Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – part 1
- Slaine Kelly: Psychosis
- Georgia Bourke: Hollyoaks (TV)
- Jasper Britton: Morris – A Life With Bells On
- Steven Berkoff: London Heist, North V South, We Still Kill The Old Way, 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, McVicar, Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange