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Does the world need another British gangster flick?
If anyone is considering going to see British gangster flick 'North v South' in the hope that Elliott Tittensor will do a nude scene like he used to back in the good old 'Shameless' days, let me save you some money: he doesn't (although there are a couple of compensatory shirtless scenes). Having cleared that up, is the film worth seeing anyway? Well, fans of the genre will probably like it: it has lots of guns, oodles of mindless violence, a dangerous woman, a transsexual assassin, copious amounts of swearing and people who have been shot or burned with a flame-thrower recovering for a final bit of gunplay. To be fair, though, there are a couple of surprises: a little girl as a trainee assassin, and not one single scene set in a sleazy strip club.
Attempts by southern gangsters (led by Steven Berkoff and Keith Allen) and their northern rivals (Bernard Hill and Oliver Cotton) to reach a truce are derailed when a southern lieutenant slits the throat of Hill's best friend. The predictable gang war ensues, complicated by a Romeo and Juliet-style problem: northern lieutenant Terry (Tittensor) and Berkoff's insipid daughter Willow (Charlotte Hope) are secretly in love.
Berkoff is in full psycho scenery-chewing mode, while Hill delivers a more measured performance as far as the script allows. Tittensor doesn't do badly, but Hope is less impressive - although, given she has to burble lines like "Terry was my god" and "I'm nothing without you" that's hardly surprising. 'Doctor Who' fans will not be disappointed by Freema Agyeman as the tough-but-sexy female gangster.
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