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On the Wirral in the grim early years of Margaret Thatcher's premiership, the opportunities for thrill seeking young men looking to escape 9 to 5 drudgery are what they've always been: sex, drugs, rock n' roll, fashion, football and fighting. Written by
AWAYDAYS is one of the dullest films I've sat through in a while. Ostensibly a hard-hitting exploration of life as a football thug, in reality this is just a piece of trash. The diabolical script, littered with c-words and other mindless thuggery, fails to distinguish between different characters and also fails to explore any of the themes we usually associate with good film-making, namely redemption, honour, respect, integrity.
There are no character arcs, no growth, no exploration of the human spirit. The only distinctive character is the one played by Stephen Graham, who feels like a pastiche of Robert Carlyle's infamous character in TRAINSPOTTING. There are violent scenes of head-kicking and gang fighting, but none of them are presented with an ounce of interest. They're not even particularly hard-hitting.
Most of the cast are undoubtedly amateurs and that's more than obvious in the wooden faces and stilted dialogue. If you're looking for a film in this vein then I recommend Peter Mullan's NEDS, which handles the same era and the same topics in an infinitively better, harder-hitting and thoroughly engaging way.
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