3.5 out of 10
REVIEW COMING SOON
Release date: 11th October 2016 (DVD premiere)
Director: Derrick Borte (The Joneses)
Cast: Daniel Huttlestone, Dougray Scott, Nell Williams, Natascha McElhone, Anya McKenna-Bruce, Samuel Robertson, Jack Morris with Tom Hughes and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Writer: Matt Boyd & Sonya Gildea
Trailer: LONDON TOWN
A wishful-thinking fantasy that throws real-life famous people into a fictional brush with the ordinary is what London Town is. We’ve been here with The Committments and Hear My Song. Anonymous non-famous person has a brush with fame and is star-struck when fame reaches out and pats them on the head. This time it’s Joe Strummer of The Clash (JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3) turn to get the re-imagining. He cameos in a tale of rote derring do, which sees Shay (DANIEL HUTTLESTONE – LES MISERABLES) as 15 year old who has a brush with the late 70s punk-scene when he runs into Vivian (NELL WILLIAMS) and follows her to some gigs and a record shop that stand in for London. Meanwhile he has to look after his 6 year old sister whilst his taxi-driver/piano shop owner father (DOUGRAY SCOTT – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2) recovers in hospital after a bad accident. Meanwhile, he becomes obsessed with his errant mother played by Natascha McElhone (SOLARIS) who lives down in London in a squat with a bunch of artists, hippies, and punks. She’s a bad mother who falls from mythical status to reprobate in a few predictable scenes.
And that’s London Town’s problem is it’s lack of authenticity. Beyond a good but empty performance from Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, this coming of age tale doesn’t miss a single cliched beat. The dialogue is too modern, people never spoke like that back in the 1980s, I was there. TV exec demands or lazy writing it still adds to the annoying pile of unimaginative story turns this takes. It lacks charm despite the best efforts of the young lead, Daniel Huttlestone, who was so good as Gavroche in Les Miserables. Nell Williams is rather flat as the punk kid with a secret, so the love affair has no spark. Dougray Scott scraps over whatever’s left but is largely sidelined in a slim role in a film full of wax dummies. The climax where Shay puts on a concert to save his dad’s shop – advertising Strummer as the headliner is dead-eyed and rushed. The scene has no spirit or life, and is over before it starts. I bored the law and bore won.
3.5 out of 10 – It’s an exercise in cookie-cutter filmmaking for people who don’t like originality in their films. A trip down memory lane for those that weren’t there. Punk purists would hate it. I bored the law and bore won.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Daniel Huttlestone: The Lost City of Z, Into the Woods, Les Miserables (2013)
- Dougray Scott: The Rezort, Snatch (TV), Fear The Walking Dead (TV), Taken 3, Tiger House, The Last Passenger, Dr Who (TV), Death Race 3, A Thousand Kisses Deep, My Week With Marilyn, Love’s Kitchen, United, New Town Killers, Hitman, Desperate Housewives (TV), Dark Water, One Last Chance, To Kill a King, Ripley’s Game, Enigma, Mission Impossible 2, Gregory’s Girl 2, This Year’s Love, Ever After, Deep Impact, Another 9.5 Weeks, Twin Town, The Crow Road (TV), Soldier Soldier (TV)
- Natascha McElhone: Mr Church, Believe, The Sea, Californication (TV), Romeo & Juliet (2014), The Kid (2010), Big Nothing, Guy X, Ladies In Lavendar, Solaris (2012), feardotcom, Killing Me Softly, Love’s Labours Lost, Ronin, The Truman Show, Miss Dalloway, The Devil’s Own, Surviving Picasso
- Samuel Robertson: The Legend of Barney Thompson
- Tom Hughes: Dare To Be Wild, 8 Minutes Idle, I Am Soldier, About Time, Cemetery Junction, Sex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll
- Jonathan Rhys-Meyers: Vikings (TV), Stonewall, The Mortal Instruments, Albert Nobbs, The Tudors (TV), From Paris With Love, August Rush, Mission Impossible 3, Match Point, Alexander, Vanity Fair (2004), I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Octane, Bend It Like Beckham, Prozac Nation, Ride With The Devil, Titus, The Loss of Sexual Innocence, The Governess, The Tribe, Velvet Goldmine, The Disappearance of Finbar