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This low-budget British crime thriller is so poorly acted and shoddily made, as well as deadly serious about itself, that it’s actually worth watching just to revel in its egregious, hilarious, truly astonishing dreadfulness. Film school teachers could use it to demonstrate what not to do, starting with screenwriter Linda Dunscombe’s atrocious screenplay.
Said document posits an Oxfordshire-based crime family (no, really – but at least it makes a change from Essex) called the Kings. This tribe of thugs is headed by patriarch Marcus (Mark Wingett, from The Bill), a godfather so confident in his own ability to pass for kosher in polite society that he’s not afraid to have a red Rolls-Royce that says “MARCUS” on its licence plate. Standing by her man, albeit with a knife at the ready, is Marcus’ wife Yvonne (Emmerdale’s Claire King) who murders a dim-witted minor character in the first five minutes and then goes off to shag the hunky gardener afterwards. The unhappy couple’s sons James (Zed Josef) and Andrew (Jonno Davies) lend a hand when needed for GBH chores and the occasional murder. Wild cards in the mix include minxy Jessica (Rachel Bright from EastEnders – there’s a lot of soap opera refugees here), a double agent who may or may not be loyal to geek Anthony (Hainsley Lloyd Bennett), and rival crime bos Mr Mustaffa (Vas Blackwood, fallen on hard times).
While the dialogue is a truly risible slog of tell-don’t-show explication, limp insults and swearing, a certain maladroit laziness permeates every aspect of the film. Location shots are recycled so often one wonders if this was some kind of product placement deal for the pub featured throughout, and the big meet between Marcus and Mustaffa looks like it was shot on the hoof in a Radisson hotel by an airport, somewhere near the breakfast bar. The camera setups are often askew – perhaps intentionally, perhaps not – the music sounds like copyright-free elevator piping, and the visual effects are on a par with the kind one gets gratis with editing software. When they are deployed to make it look like a house is burning down, we are presented with an unintended metaphor for this whole shambolic mess.
Source: The Guardian
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