18 user 26 critic

Wasteland (2012)

The Rise (original title)
1:33 | Trailer

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A young man recently released from prison recruits his three best friends to rob the local drug kingpin who is responsible for his incarceration. Can he get revenge and win back his fed-up girlfriend?



3 nominations. See more awards »


Credited cast:
D I West
PC Nixon
Paul Clayton ...
Sgt Kendon
Grant Crookes ...
Prison Officer
Neil Athale ...
Construction Site Manager
Andy Calderwood ...
Ropers cronie


Battered, bruised and under arrest, Harvey Miller (Luke Treadaway) sits in a police interview room facing interrogation. Clutching a stack of eyewitness statements, Detective Inspector West (Timothy Spall) has no doubt in Harvey's part in a foiled robbery, and his subsequent attempted murder of local businessman Steven Roper. Denying everything, Harvey agrees to tell his version of events in full. We take in his release from prison a month earlier, and the malevolent, unjust act that put him in there. We see his emotional reunion with his sibling-like best friends, and the immovable loyalty they have for one another. We see the rekindling of a lost love, a second chance for two people meant for each other. We see the ingenious planning of the ill-fated robbery, the amazing twist, the shocking outcome and the real driving force behind it - retribution. What unfolds is an exhilarating, moving and hilarious story of loyalty, jealousy, friendship, revenge and the pursuit of happiness. Written by MoliFilms

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He gave a year of his life. Now he's stealing it back.


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

26 July 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wasteland  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


First feature film directed by Rowan Athale. See more »


[last lines]
Dempsey: LET ME OUT
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Performed by 'Eugene McGuinness'
Courtesy of Domino Recording and Publishing
Companies Ltd
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User Reviews

Great criminal drama
31 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

A sad case of a fine movie that could've been a great contender at the box office but didn't all that much due to studio or producers pushing back its release time and time again. First, it was called "Wasteland" (great title and as I call the film) than delayed for whatever reasons, later on submitted as "The Rise", perhaps as a way to attract more viewers. Not sure if succeed in that. It will have a decent life in the video market because everybody loves a good thriller and "Wasteland" is one of the most solid and gripping Brit thrillers of the season.

The criminal drama (with fun bits of humor) has two fronts: a injured man retells to a detective (Timothy Spall) all the events that led him there in that deposition room. The man in question is Harvey (Luke Treadaway), a criminal recently released from jail after spending six months due to a set up from his boss. Harvey's plan is to gather his mates (Iwan Rheon, Matthew Lewis and Gerard Kearns), rob the local casino commanded by his former boss and move to Netherlands, where they can leave the life of crimes behind and settle down as being coffee shop owners. Not that simple since the other members of the group are more frightened of the robbery's positive outcome (to leave a lousy place they love and move to a place they don't know) than the robbery itself and the chance of facing dangerous types, people who they worked for; and Harvey also trying to get back to the girl he loves and who might not approve his plans.

Simple is safe, and "Wasteland" benefits from that. It's a simple plot, apparently complicated with its flashbacks back and forth and many puzzling plot twists, but it's very simple in the core. Lacks in action but it's more involving than anything I can think of; the romance bits are tolerable; the dialogs are good but nothing so grandiose; the humor is excellent, consisting mostly of moments with the group mocking Harvey's time in prison. But we're there for a good drama we can easily relate in a way and the powerful and excellent chemistry between the gang formed by some of the finest and young UK stars, people who truly deserve credit even if you don't know their names.

My theory on why this was overlooked and once again has to do with the delays and title change: by the time the movie was being made, they had a relatively unknown actor who in between early screenings and the whole change of market, suddenly got a little more famous with heavy repercussion on a play he got great reviews and several awards, and that was Luke Treadaway. The first trailer was a indicative that the focus was on the group, when in fact the focus is on Harvey. I don't think the producers were wrong in "selling" the actor, a reliable performer by the way, but they got wrong in postponing it several times and the new title doesn't sound appealing.

"Wasteland" or "The Rise", in the end, it's an exciting, edgy and offers plenty of good moments. 9/10

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