I saw this last night and could not wait to write about my opinions.
I am a little stuck for time so I am not getting into one of my long reviews. On the other hand I am not sure this movie needs a long review. I was commenting on another blog just a couple of days ago complaining that there is to be yet another telling of “The Essex Boys” story .
My chief complaint was that gangster movies seem to be churned out with annoying regularity in British cinema. It seems to be a subject British film-makers just cant keep away from.
So when I saw the trailer I assumed this was another ‘stupid and naive young lads get involved with real gangsters and get into serious trouble’ story. But there was something about the trailer that made me think this may be a little different. Well the presence of Timothy Spall certainly helped. And I recognised a couple of the young male actors although I could not name them
Something about the writing held me watching the movie as it began to slip into familiar territory. Boys plan to rob a safe full of cash owned by the big bad gangster Neil Maskell. They plan down to the finest Mission Impossible detail, so what could go wrong? Well things can go wrong and of course they do, putting the lads on a collision course with the gangster.
But this is where we discover that absolutely nothing is as it seems, Forget any ‘seen it all before’ British gangster movie ideas you may have, this really is original.This isn’t actually a gangster movie at all, but I don’t want to explain what type of movie it is as that would be a spoiler, and I refuse to put in any kind of spoiler for this film. But you will not guess at any point where the story is going.
The writing by relative newcomer Rowan Athale (who also directs) is exceptional, he manages to avoid clichés apart from when they lead you down a path he wants to lead you down. The script is very intelligent and slick and holds your attention even when the guys are just playing golf on a bit of waste ground.
I can not recommend this movie enough, it is a little gem that passed me by (released 2012) Its smart, witty, ingenious and ‘normal’ in that the characters are very real. Not in the least bit corny “Sowf Lundon” wide boys we are used to, especially as the movie is set in Leeds.
Watch this film, best British movie I have seen this year