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A film that plays out over the course of a single day and night, following the misadventures of various peoples whose lives are entwined with the titular nightclub. Your enjoyment of EMPIRE STATE will depend on how much you enjoy watching an evocation of '80s-era East End London, seeing as the movie is chock full of dated locales, fashions and dialogue, especially during the latter interludes set within the nightclub itself.
Plot elements are familiar from anyone who's seen the type of gangster flicks favoured by Guy Ritchie; there's drug dealing aplenty, along with gambling and illegal hand-to-hand fights. The film is a thriller and it certainly held my attention throughout, although that was partly due to the expectation of drama that never really arose. British viewers will spend half of the film struggling to remember the name of that actor they recognise from one British TV show or the other. There is also, unusually, a strong homosexual angle to the plot, as most of the main characters seem to be rent boys and even the imported American star (Martin Landau) gets up to some dodgy goings-on in his hotel room. The director, Ron Peck, appears to be an important figure in British gay cinema. This one-of-a-kind movie is understandably obscure by modern standards.
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