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Amateurish, formulaic latest addition to the Brit crime flick genre
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
Billy Evans (Leo Gregory) used to be the head of the toughest football firm in the East End, but has now settled down to a quiet family life, with a successful car dealership business under his belt. But he is forced to gather his old crew back together when new face on the crime scene Mickey (Ricci Harnett) starts running protection on some old friends of his. This results in a calamitous battle of wills that sets in motion a devastating chain of events that sets him on a collision course with the sinister Watson (Vincent Regan), the shadowy figure controlling Mickey and his mob.
These East End gangster/hooligan films are all pretty interchangeable, yet they obviously have a pretty big following, given the volume and momentum with which the new ones appear on the scene. Leo Gregory would be one such genre favourite, who appears with some regularity in these offerings, and here he is in this latest addition directed by Spandau Ballet's Martin Kemp, which seems to have appeared out of nowhere with less than a flurry of publicity. This may not be hard to comprehend, since while it's the latest addition to the genre, it offers nothing new and nothing to inject the field with any substance or quality.
Kemp only ever really attained mild success as an actor, and if this is his style as a director, he may get stopped even sooner in his tracks. Somehow, this projects a really cheap, amateurish look about it, like a film student effort, not even up to the standards of a TV movie. In amongst the barrage of mockney slang and clichés, there are some moments of suitably hair raising, shocking violence and the performances are stellar enough. Gregory has a passion and flair in his manner that suggests he's really trying, while as the highest calibre actor on offer, Regan steals the show as the softly spoken, methodical psychopath. But this is still too much of a low grade, dirt cheap effort to be anything more than just the very sum of it's parts. **
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