Directed by: Ben Wheatley
I saw this film today in London at the Prince Charles cinema. I was lucky to catch what I think is the last screening of this film in London at any independent cinema right now and I’m so glad I finally saw it! It really didn’t disappoint even though the trailer is essentially all you need to know about the plot as it’s a very basic one but expertly executed. (Pun intended)
Firstly, the soundtrack is great. You can’t go wrong with 70’s music for backing music to a movie. The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie sussed this out and decided to release a soundtrack of all the songs which was essentially just a compilation of 70’s songs. Which made it seem like they thought they were the first ever to discover cassette tapes and 70’s music which then got the hipsters thinking THEY’RE the first to hear this music and subsequently introduce it to the masses. Or maybe i’m just a cynic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad more 70’s music is being listened to by the masses but when it becomes popular this way and people start priding themselves on thinking that they’re the first to hear it, it upsets me.
PLOT: Two groups of people meet up in an abandoned warehouse for a gun deal and the longest shoot out you’ve ever seen begins! That is all the plot is about. Simple yet brilliantly and hilariously created.
As I said above, the soundtrack is fantastic but it’s not particularly extensive. This kind of works for the film though as the loss of music adds to the drama and tension of a shoot out. This is where the sound effects really kick in and create a soundtrack all of their own. the surround sound of bullets whizzing past you and the characters on screen is exhilarating. You almost shift your body in your seat to get out of the way of the incoming bullets! I’ve still yet to hear Saving Private Ryan in surround sound. I’m sure I’m in for a REAL treat there!
A small thing I noticed about this film is that it could be set in any era. They don’t actually state what year it’s set in the movie. The fashion gives it away that it’s late 70’s/early 80’s. But I would have loved them dressed in completely neutral clothing so that the audience wouldn’t have a clue what year/era/decade it’s supposed to be set. Just a little piece of the jigsaw not quite filled in.
Another small thing I noticed about this film was that it could easily be a play with the claustrophobic setting of the warehouse. There’s a few shots outside of the warehouse but 90% of the film is inside the warehouse and it just adds to the tension as you feel like no-one is really going to get out alive.
This film has solid everything; sound FX, soundtrack and actors. One in particular who stole the show for me was Sharlto Copley. I’ve seen him in films previously but never in a way where he stood out to me. Watching him in this film made me want to do a Copley marathon which is strange as he’s not really a leading man actor yet. Usually i get that feeling with people who are usually in leading roles. But he was so funny and brilliant in this film it’s made me want to rewatch District 9 and investigate his other works!
I felt like this could have been a film Monty Python would have made if they were in their prime in this day and age. The comedy in this film is so well written and subtle that sometimes as you’re laughing you miss a smaller joke that’s equally as funny, immediately after the first joke. One thing puzzled me though, for a 12A it has ALOT of swearing and some minor gore. But if this is what kids up to 12 are allowed to watch these days it’s really not surprising teenagers are having babies younger and joining ISIS. I’m not saying these movies are the REASON but I feel like the age restriction has lowered significantly since I was 12. I don’t remember being allowed to watching anything as shocking as this film at 12. Which this film isn’t particularly shocking at the age of 26 as i’ve seen worse but if I was 12 and saw this film I’d feel a whole new world of vocabulary was open to me 😉
More on the plot. The film is essentially all about the build up and what actually sparks it all off as we all know it ends in a shoot up from the trailer but we’re never shown what the reason is. I won’t spoil that for you but let me tell you, it’s the smallest reason to start this that it reminds you of being a kid and back in school when the smallest provocation turns into something much bigger than it needs to be. Again, brilliant writing and just hilarious to watch these adults act like kids with guns. You’re not even sure who to root for as both sides are at fault so your mind is constantly jumping from one side to the other as the film progresses! One of the reasons for this i think is that no one has an advantage in the fight. Everyone is injured pretty much immediately; either shot in the leg or arm. One character who doesn’t get injured at all gets shot and killed instantly about halfway through the film and it’s never really clear why. The writers were clear to make sure not to kill anyone immediately and have everyone start with superficial injuries. So it stands to reason there must be a reason why this one character is shot and dies immediately. Maybe a useless character? The thing is, his death doesn’t really provoke any more violence than is already going on. It’s an odd part of the film.
By the time the film is nearly over you’re not quite sure why they’re still shooting at each other since the whole things was sparked off by two specific characters so you think,’ why are the others shooting at each other’. You’re pretty much thinking that the whole way through, but more so by the end.
The ending is another odd bit. I wasn’t keen on it ending the way it did. I would have preferred it ending on a cliffhanger just to really mess with us. But that’s just me!
So i recommend you go and see it if it’s still showing at your cinema or buy it when it eventually comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray. It’s one of those films you’ll watch once every 6-8 months for an hour and thirty black comedy with lots of shooting!
My Rating – 7/10 | IMDB – 7/10 | Rotten Tomatoes – 67%