GBH - GO BACK HOME
, 09 Nov 2012
Nick Nevern (RISE AND FALL OF A WHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN) plays a cop on the edge called Damien. London plays a city on the edge. GBH is perhaps the earliest but it certainly wont be the best film about the 2011 London Riots. Coming across as a countdown to armageddon, we shadow our anti-hero on his beat as he doles out a conflicted form of justice that is a concocted blend of doing the right thing and downright vigilantism. His new partner, WPC Louise (KELLIE SHIRLEY EASTENDERS) has issues of her own, with an ex-cop father (Con ONeill DANCING THRU THE DARK) crippled by a run in with football hooligans. Much of the conflict comes from Damiens shady past as an over-active member of a football firm himself. He still drinks with former associates including Peter Barrett and Roland Manookian (both also co-stars of Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan) who expect to operate above the law and have Damien wipe their slates clean. Encounters with bullied school boys, sick pimps, feral rapists, crowd mentality and wife beaters eventually tip our man over the edge when he is implicated in the single event-catalyst that kicks off this films version of the London Riots.
The film would be easier to accept if had been executed with any finesse and showcased any convincing performances. Luckily, were not quite in the same terrible territory as the Jack Trilogy or Dead Cert, but what we have here is a pretty clunky, confused film. As confusing as the riots themselves the film piles incident upon incident upon Damien and Louise. The two contrasting police officers end up becoming lovers but theres no honeymoon period here. As packed as a coppers day probably is, the story becomes hard to follow and some very tired and over-used gimmicks like time-lapse photography and fly overs of the London streets only serve to irritate rather than dazzle. What is most disappointing is Nick Neverns performance. He has proved to be a reliable and exciting actor to watch in most of his previous films, whether being in the lead or a supporting role. So Im sad to report that hes been miscast here. Hes met his current limit. His off-kilter and uneven performance here is probably down to other factors like a ropey script, a plot that chops and changes his emotions dragging him back and forth between situations and bad direction. The first time director is Simon Phillips (AIRBORNE), a prolific actor and producer on the British Independent Film scene. His directorial style is anonymous and it lacks any original flare. Perhaps, like his acting, he will improve.
3. 5 out of 10: What we have here is an episode of The Bill with ambition. But it is let down by some embarrassing over-acting (spitting and foaming at the mouth yes thats you Con ONeill, doesnt mean your a good actor! Is it in fashion for actors to do this? Hes not the only one.) and a stretched Nick Nevern. There is a pile of confusing story lines, flat direction and a dead script. As Pedestrian as a beat cop. Its not the worst film out by a long chalk though. But it had an open goal of an opportunity and it swung wide. Way wide of the mark.
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