SPOILER: Alistair and Miles, both with aristocratic connections, start their first year at Oxford University though they are very different, Miles is down to earth and happy to have a girlfriend, Lauren, from a lower background whilst Alistair is a snob with aspirations to follow his uncle, a Tory MP. The common bond is that both become members of the Riot Club, a long established elite drinking club priding itself on hedonism and the belief that money can buy anything. Having been barred from most establishments in Oxford they have their annual dinner at the function room in a country pub, where their rowdy behavior angers other patrons though they reimburse Chris, the landlord. They hire a prostitute but she refuses to perform group sex, then one of them rings Lauren, whom they importune to Max's horror. Getting progressively more drunk and ingesting drugs they start to trash the room and, when Chris comes to complain, Alistair savagely assaults him, landing him in hospital. Though ...Written by
don @ minifie-1, geo
The Riot Club is for posh boys, who all attend Oxford university. There are only ten of them at a time and they have a notorious reputation, and best of all? They are looking for new members. So I suppose the reel question is will this be Dirty Pretty Things or just Filth? The Riot Club is a film that has a feeling of disappointment, not from me, but from itself, it feels like a movie that had more to give us and wanted to but can never quite get into the right gear with it's own inner mechanics, it's a film that comes across as unhappy with it's own final piece.
The film has a lot of things going for it despite this, it has an INCREDIBLE cast of young men, the whole premise is pitched just right and when it needs to the tension is palpitatable, So why isn't it a better movie? I think we need to take a second look at this to get to the bottom of it properly.
The Riot Club begins as it means to go on, within the first 5 minuets we are shown hard drug use, strong sex scenes, violence and bad language, it never tries to hide or conceal what it is, but then I suppose this is where the problem starts because a movie like The Riot Club (much like A Clockwork Orange really), tries to live in two camps at once, those being the one of class commentary and the other of exploitation cinema. Nobody is going to defend The Riot Club for not being an exploitation film.
I think the thing that The Riot Club lacks most noticeably when compared to both the trailer and the general air of the film is ferocity. When I sat down to watch The Riot Club I expected darkness and debauchery, and what I ended up getting was something mildly unsettling, sure there are flurries of vindictiveness in the film, but they are in the trailer. I wanted to see a film that would justify the tenseness that I felt during some of the periods of the movie, but instead what I came out with was a feeling of confusion to what the hell happened to it all.
The Riot Club works perfectly to a pint, and then during the third act totally loses its way and decides it's run out of time anyway, so brings everything to a screeching halt almost mid flow. That is a crime I can't forgive, to deny me a justified ending to a film I was largely enjoying is wrong.
I feel it goes without saying that film has a superior showing of young up and comers, but what I feel should be said is that aside from the main male dominated teens, there is a surprising mix of other actors and actresses too, this is always a welcomed surprise.
At times The Riot Club is funny, at times it's uncomfortable but it never reaches the depths it desires or needed to for me. The talents on display are strong and that's what lifts it above the mundane.
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