Saturday, November 12, 2016
Written & Directed By: Noel Clarke
Cinematography By: Brian Tufano
Editor: Tom Hemmings
Cast: Noel Clarke, Adam Deacon, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Jacob Anderson, Ben Drew, Shanika Warren-Markland, Cornell John, Red Madrell, Arnold Oceng, Danny Dyer
Not Straight Outta Compton, but straight out of jail and back on the mean streets of London. A story of retribution that has Sam Peel fighting for more than just his freedom. After a six and a half year stretch for murder, his troubles are just about to begin. This has his past conflicts catching-up with his plans to stay alive for the future.
This is a movie that has no choice but to change it's protagonists. As it is a sequel to kIDULTHOOD.
It took me seven years to find a copy of this film in the U.S. That I could actually watch. Not entirely worth the time. As i had built it up to be grander in my head but it still is definitely worth a look.
The film also sheds more of a diverse light on characters and cast. As the film is filled with many cultures and races. And it never really being brought up. As the film is still an ensemble, but writer, director Noel Clarke takes center stage as the star of the film. He only wrote and co-starred in the previous film. Here he ends up Showcasing a roughness yet also a vulnerability.
The film allows us to catch up with the characters from the previous film. See how they have changed or are still the same. Either way they have all changed to a degree because of the main character here and his actions. He pain and directions he has thrown them into.
At heart this seems like a revenge tale that seems to want to also offer retribution. Even though the threats at the beginning seem more of a plot piece to get the film started and provide a timeline. As that threat never feels real though lends the film a kind of mystery as he must get to the bottom of who is hunting him down.
The film offers some stylish flourishes that feel unneeded but add to the youthful energy the film tries to give off. The film Allows to show that it has many tricks up it’s sleeves. After pulling a few fast ones on us.
The film is not as shocking as the first film . Though that film seemed to shed light more on the youth of the times and the crime culture they seemed to idolize. That film again felt more like an ensemble. This seems more like straight forward storytelling with more of a focus on one character. As this film also doesn't seem to be out there to shock the audience with the characters behavior. This one focuses more not on culture, but character
It's nice to see diversity in the cast and allows the characters to grow and have other problems rather than just the central plot. It makes the film feel more real and lived in. As well as moving away from being stereotypical.
Though can admit for stretches of the film. It seems not much happens. So that it feels like the film is resting as it tries to build towards an ending. A lot of editing and cross cutting tries to make the film feel like it is moving and more action oriented than it actually is.
The film doesn't try to be preachy, thankfully. Though the main character does a bit of it now and then. The problem is that by the end most characters only deliver what seem to be empty threats. That never truly manifest, so it becomes kind of a letdown. Then again it is because he gets to them first to a degree. The individual reunion scenes are powerful if you have seen and remember the first film.
Disappointingly Jamie Winstone's character is noticeably absent, yet talked about especially as the character of her cousin Lexi seems to be one of the only people the lead character can talk to and connect with without bias. Even though her character has many of the same characteristics of Winstone's Becky character. Which might be that he originally wrote the role for her character. As they are both characters running from their paths. Only she still uses her sexuality to get what she wants but is aging past her Prime. Now seems more like a functioning party girl junkie. Only Ms. Winstone might not have been able to reprise the role. So rather than recast he shifted the role onto another new character. Though as she is new and at first mysterious. It leaves the audience to wonder if she is as innocent as she seems.
I like that the film isn't afraid to let it's main characters be damaged and unlikeable. Even letting them stay that way until the end of the film. Mostly showcased in the characters of Jay and Sam --Still has scenes that shock in behavior to show how dangerous the streets are and that kind of lifestyle.
Though a bit too much happens in just the 24 hours this film takes place in. So it feels at times like it overshoots it's premise
They have made a third film in the series that premiered recently. I am really looking forward to it as this film is not perfect but a good follow up.
The film offers a view of Vulnerability though still brandishing a Machismo. It shows the main characters transition into an adult and some who are still in arrested development. His reunion with an ex-girlfriend Claire who he abused and still had issues because of it. Which shows the depths of how his abuse still affects her and her relationships, how the repercussions his killing of a character has the mother of the murdered characters daughter, Alisa, as a suspect in his death sentence on the streets it seems. as he has left her a single mother through his actions and should have the most anger with him. She hates him, but wishes to never see him again and they never letting it go and blaming his misfortune on everyone and thing around him, except himself as he is not willing to let go.
How throughout the film he is reminded of his crimes and that. This is something he did time for and was senseless, but must always live with no matter what