Director: Philip Barantini
Vertigo Releasing / Saban Films
Craig Fairbrass is a good actor – dependable. He does the British tough guy thing well; baddie or heart of gold gangster, the villain with no soul or the villain trying to go straight. He’s done a bunch of direct to video things in the later half of his career but there were some big budget multiplex movies a quarter century ago too (Cliffhanger).
Here he really is a Villain – the title of the film even tells us, it’s the trying-to-go-straight type. As Eddie Franks, he is playing an ex-con, ten years in prison and just released. He’s trying to clear his name and debt and fix the family’s fortunes but he’s pulled back in. We would know all of this from any blurb and there’s really not much more to it than that.
And you could be forgiven for thinking this is just the straight-drama version of Guy Ritchie, no charm, no smarm, no funny business. And you’d – mostly – be right. This is gritty as all fuck actually. And no one wins. And that’s the message I guess. It’s a tough watch but it’s not without merit. The acting is fine. The film offers some dark, tough heart if no real need for any guesswork. In this Covid-era of needing to find things to distract and occasionally depress, to remove us from the horrors of our own lives and focus on the madness of something else for a bit you could do a lot worse. I can’t really rave about this at all – but I didn’t hate it.
Am I glad I bothered with this? Yes. (And no).
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