THE ANTWERP DOLLS

3.5 out of 10

Release Date: 1st July 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Jake L. Reid

Cast: Jason Wing, Courtney Winston, Jermaine Curtis Liburd, Simon Pengelly, Ashley R Woods, Kayta Greer, Terence Anderson, Danny Cutler, Mani Sohal, Kate Marie Davies, Tobias Jon, Sebastien Foucan, Marcin Wenderlich with Sean Cronin and Bruce Payne

Writer: Jake L. Reid

Trailer: THE ANTWERP DOLLS

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Well at least Jake L Reid, the director, had a crack at giving some gravity to his gangster flick. It’s a shame he didn’t round up enough good actors to pull off his monologues. Even veteran Bruce Payne (PASSENGER 57) struggles to deliver much menace. Sadly there’s no budget to do little more than point the camera in the right direction. So it all looks very flat. There’s no visual flare as actors deliver soliloquoys of terror to classic pieces of music: Bach, Beethoven, etc.  This uneven gangster flick attempts to give us a little bit of a mystique, and clearly we’re dealing with a fan of Guy Ritchie’s overlooked turkey Revolver (which I loved) as this has it’s very own Sam Gold (a mysterious mr big in said Ritchie flick). Here we have a deathly assassin called Leon Hawthorne (stupid name) who nobody living has ever seen. But its told flatly and has zero pull.

The best actor is the nominal lead, Jason Wing (HOOLIGAN LEGACY) who gives a doomed performance of Shakespearean gravity as old gangster Tommy Callaghan. He’s bought himself into doing business with some mysterious Belgian brothers, Bruce Payne and Sean Cronin (GATWICK GANGSTERS) at this restrained best. The loot gets nabbed by some of his ex-employees. Cally’s bag men, Blacks (COURTNEY WINSTON) and Spacey (JERMAINE CURTIS LIBURD) have to get the bag back at all costs. But what’s inside? Well after all the double-crosses you’ll be hard pressed to care.

It’s not all that much fun, but I do like the fact that it at least tried to be different. Shame about the varying levels of talent, from the f*cking brilliant Jason Wing, to the unsure Bruce Payne, to the very ropey turn from Mani Sohal.  There are too many monologues, and no overlapping dialogue either. A bit more naturalism could have made this  better. Oddly enough it features parkour king Sebastien Foucan (JAMES BOND – CASINO ROYALE) in a seated role with no lines. Very strange.

Maybe the director is one for the ‘one to watch’ pile because there are a lot of good elements to the script, it’s just muddled and lacks a confidence. Jason Wing elevates the material whenever he’s onscreen giving this film an extra point.

3.5 out of 10 – A good first attempt, some nice ideas, but needs more money to spend on the technical side next time.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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