An elder brother who lived a life of crime but left to show his younger brother the lifestyle is not fit for anything. Years later his younger brother takes his footsteps in the life of ...
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An elder brother who lived a life of crime but left to show his younger brother the lifestyle is not fit for anything. Years later his younger brother takes his footsteps in the life of drugs/crime, to a deal gone wrong his younger brother is murdered, his elder brother steps back into his crime ways and to find and avenge his younger brother's death.
wish fulfilment movie for Poundland shoplifters who play too much GTA and have delusions of grandeur
Road comes to us from first time writer / Director Vitae Nas, who is pretty much a 1 man machine behind this movie doing everything from lighting to stunt choreography
The story behind the movie is quite an interesting one, apparently Nas has been working on this movie for the last 10 years at a low budget of around £130k
This Production of this movie was somewhat troubled due to a number of personal tragedies and and other set backs culminating in a court injunction out against the movie preventing it from releasing in it's native UK essentially meaning the film is banned in the UK , but is getting a US release.
Part of the strategy of the movie was to cast up coming UK music talent and a number of reality TV stars from shows like Big Brother and Georgie Shore ( the UK equivalent of The Jersey shore ) . The talent maybe familiar to those in the UK but will mean very little to the rest of the world, so this stunt casting was a moot point. It is also apparent that the talent on screen are not professional actors by trade, a point we'll discuss further later.
The movie centers around a character called 'Shokka' played by Cameron Caan in his first feature. He is a drug dealer who wants out of the life, but when his younger brother is killed in gangland violence. Shokka is pulled back into old habits dealing with various faction within the criminal underground to bring his brothers killers to street justice. The police chalk it up to gang violence and are seemingly uninterested, so only Shokka can seek revenge on his brothers killers.
On the surface you could say the movie is a cross between 'Lock, stock and two smoking barrels and Top gear' as the camera loves to oogle a variety of sexy automobiles and is a Supercar fans fantasy.
However on the subject of 'Fantasy' I think the film makers genuinely believed they were making a hard hitting urban gangster thriller , when in reality it's a wish fulfilment movie for Poundland shoplifters who play too much GTA and have delusions of grandeur
What does work,
Director Nas has some interesting directorial choices , showing you info blasts for all the cars and hardware that this film uses and a heads up display when they are introduced . It gives the movie and somewhat of a video game feel which adds to it's GTA aesthetic, however on a side note, it did cut into dialogue a couple of times.
I also appreciated the use of the flashbacks being in a sepia tone, letting the audience know when they are watching one
There are a couple of quite well choreographed fist fight scenes that feel authentic and brutal.
Ray Sinclair stands out in the acting department as the slimey crime boss who comes across equal parts threatening and charming .
There are a couple of small parts that were played quite well , particularly from the police characters at the beginning of the film
As mentioned before, there are lots of fast cars to coo over and I suspect most of the budget went on hiring these out for the movie . There is only one short car chase sequence however
Which leads us onto the negative issues.
As mentioned the decision was made not to cast actors for many of the roles and this hurts the film in a big way as the performances are sometimes comically bad . There is odd casting decisions as well. One of the crime factions is run by 3 pretty boy brothers, in reality these are reality TV stars and have different accents from all over the country that . I feel like a lot of the dialog her is improvised as these apparent brothers call each other 'Mate' on various occasions.
Which brings me to my next point, if you're out side the UK you may struggle to understand some of the dialog here as it's very London slang heavy and even being just over an hour outside of London myself , I was struggling to catch everything that was being said.
The Shokka character is a somewhat unsympathetic lead, as he is a drug dealer, murders other characters for no particular reason and really comes across as not the sharpest tool in the box. Cameron Caan plays Shokka with a constant scowl on his face obviously to tell the audience he isn't to be trifled with, but again comes across rather cheesy and Caan seems quite unconfident in the role
There are problems with the plot too. To name just a few, At the beginning of the movie, we see Shokka get offered a deal by the police, but it's never mentioned again. Shokka on a number of occasions seems to be able to effortlessly walk into his enemies buildings and get the drop of them without so much as lock on a door let alone any security. There is a twist that anyone will see coming a mile off apart from our man Shocka of course. Perhaps the main thing is he is happily killing people for no real apparent reason other than they might have had something to do with his brother's death by virtue of them simply being a criminal. We don't even really see him try to investigate or interrogate any of these people outside of asking did you kill my bother? In favour of snapping there neck or blowing them away
The gun fight scenes are poorly executed with red shirts seemingly lining up to get shot and there are virtually no female characters to speak of outside of a couple of strippers and a few lines here and there from back ground characters
Overall I can see that this movie has ambition and Nas does have talent as a director, but needs to hire actors over stunt casting and perhaps work of someone else's script or at least have someone touch it up
If you are a fan of UK Gangsta movies then you may be interested and I can say thing. You will have fun with this movie, but not in the way that it was intended .
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