Still full movie review - Dark but loses its way
Tom's a complex character. If he wasn't written that way, Aidan Gillen (reviewers - that's his name...I see hardly any of you spelled it correctly) makes him so.
Tom didn't have to be so complex but, where would we be if a movie set out to show us the humdrum nature of your life and mine? We need fantasy, right? Even when the fantasy is this dark and, to be frank, pointlessly so.
Tom's got a beautiful ex (played by the beautiful Amanda Mealing); he has a beautiful live in lover (played by the beautiful Elodie Yung); and he has a beautiful business agent (played by the beautiful Caroline Ford). In sum, this deadbeat fart of a nothing human being is surrounded by beautiful women who, for whatever unfathomable reason, find him irresistible (at least to begin with). He isn't. He's a prick.
Tom's best bud is Ed. No-one likes Ed except Tom. But Ed has balls. Tom doesn't. It was Ed I felt sorry for. He considered Tom a friend. But Tom's a prick.
Tom's a professional photographer. The only one alive who has not changed to using a digital camera. Well, he wouldn't, would he? Because Tom's a prick.
Tom lives in the grottiest apartment in Christendom. It's in North London where rents prohibit anyone without either a high salary, or social support, living there. Tom has neither. Yet Tom lives there. He could have moved out in a heartbeat once his troubles began. But, he didn't. He's a prick.
When Tom wants to say something deep and meaningful. His voice becomes a whisper. Just like they do in the vigilante movies. Tom's seen a lot of them. Because he's a prick.
Tom's got a lot of trouble on his hands. He should have phoned the police within the first 15 minutes of the film. He didn't though. That's because he's a prick.
Yet, because Tom's a prick, this film (ultimately) starts to work. Because he's not supercop Bruce. He's not ex CIA Denzil. He's not Black-Ops Keanu. He's a prick. And his prick mentality was pushed to the point where he decides he can no longer be a prick. He's surrounded by enough of them already. And it's only when he stops being a prick that this film starts to work. Sadly, however, it took far too much screen time for us to arrive at that point; by which time we could see only one thing - he's an angry prick.
In the end, it is a disappointing and messy film. The street thugs are not nuanced in any way which just leaves the viewer wondering what went wrong in their lives. Or, put another way, how could these young men commit such heinous crimes in a society which, truly, has not (yet) reached the despicable lows presented herein. Moreover, the ending is despicable in itself - a grown man kidnaps and murders a 15 year old? What does that try to tell us about our world? Surely to all that we know, we've not reached that point yet, have we?
I understand director Simon Blake has a theatrical background which may explain why the best scenes work because they are cramped into claustrophobic spaces. However, when it does not work (which is frequent), it's also because of the director's theatrical background. Small gestures are what the cinematic camera sees best but, all too often, it's not what it is done here. And that can also be 'seen' in the script which gets way too intense at times. We had no real reason to explain why Tom became the target of the street thugs' anger. No reason except to make this film it seems.
In sum I have given this film 5 from 10. As I said in the title of this review, it's dark but it loses its way. Watch it but don't let it exploit you into thinking this has anything to do with reality.
P.S. I agree with another reviewer here - some shill reviews have boosted this film's overall rating.