Not A Bad Drama But It's Easy To See Why It's Obscure
Richard is a journalist for Metropolis Magazine and attends the opening of the Empire State nightclub redevelopment . Whilst there he meets a teenager from Newcastle who is searching for a friend who worked at the club and who has disappeared in mysterious circumstances . Richard becomes more intrigued as the clientèle at the club may have shady secrets
EMPIRE STATE is a very obscure British thriller . It was shown once on channel four a year after its release . It's one of these productions that Channel four churned out on an almost weekly basis that received a very limited release and the fact that a grand total of two people have commentated on the film on this page speaks volumes as to its obscurity . It's not very difficult to understand why it's obscure
This is a gangster thriller made in Britain and before Guy Ritchie came along very few British gangster films did well unless Michael Caine or Bob Hoskins were cast . This contrasts with American gangster films that followed a formula were a fatherless immigrant takes on the American dream that eventually becomes a a self destructive American nightmare . In other words capitalism has its uses whilst violent exploitation has none . In some ways EMPIRE STATE mirrors this in that the novue riche yuppies rather than violent working class hardmen are the new gangsters . Thatercherism has given a new respectability to crime but this rather underdeveloped
In fact the problem with the film is that the multiple character driven story lines are very much underdeveloped in that characters suddenly disappear and it's noticeable they were only included to set up a plot turn , a plot turn that often frustratingly go nowhere . There's also a strong homosexual subtext to the film which isn't surprising since the director is Ron Peck .Is there anything more clichéd than a gay British gangster ? There's also the terminal fault of a 1980s channel four production and that is that has a very TV type of look despite some graphic violence and bad language . It's a film that never appears truly cinematic
That said if you're able to remember club culture from the 1980s then it's certainly a semi pleasant nostalgia trip. It's very dated of course but for those of us who remember jackets with padded shoulders , big hair, a very expensive drink costing £1.40 and bars surrounded by cigarette smoke then it's a film that brings back guilty memories . There's also a case of spot the TV face before they became well known. But at the end of the day EMPIRE STATE will always be a forgotten gangster thriller from Britain
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