25 April 2006 | davideo-2
Familiar ground has been treaded before, but this is still a powerful and hard-hitting film
STAR RATING: ***** The Works **** Just Misses the Mark *** That Little Bit In Between ** Lagging Behind * The Pits
Too Fine (Simon Webbe of boy band Blue) and his friends Finny (Vas Blackwood), Pushy (Robbie Gee) and Rage (Roffem Morgan) have formed an underground garage group called Too Fine and are hoping to make it into the big leagues. But it all goes tragically wrong when he is murdered by a rival gang leader over an unpayed street debt from his time selling rock on the streets. To make matters worse, with him gone, the weight of that burden falls on the shoulders of his sister Hope (Naomi Taylor) who is then beaten up and raped by his killer, with a promise of worse things to come if the debt is not settled soon. However, realizing there is no realistic way to settle the debt in time and to seek revenge for her brother's murder and her rape, she visits the man early one morning and blasts him to death. The dust seems to settle a little after this, until she learns that one of the man's top suppliers, gangster David Brumby (Billy Murray) has now lost a valuable source of income. Suggesting they work together instead of against each other, they split the difference and Hope and her brother's friends hit the streets again to sell the poison that got them by in the first place. However after an horrific nightclub shooting at the hands of Pushy and Rage in retaliation for Too Fine's murder, two persistent detectives start getting on their backs and it's only a matter of time before everything threatens to come crashing down around them.
This small, independent British gangster film has won acclaim at numerous Film Festivals and such, but has had an extremely limited distribution on it's release over here. But like other film's of it's sort, despite it's faults, it's destined to be one of those little seen gems that always gets this sort of distribution.
It's a film with a great sense of style, slickly shot and cleverly edited, as well as what is surely a very real depiction of the lives of those it is based around. It also delivers the goods in terms of being hard-hitting and powerful when it needs to be, with some strong, blood-thirsty violence with a lot of loud bangs present in some scenes. However it is the performances that are really noteworthy. Taylor has a certain sexiness to her in her role, a sort of strong black woman type which has appeal. Murray as Brumby is okay, but as soon as I saw him, I couldn't help but think of him as Johnny Allan from East Enders and hearing him use words like 'f*ck' and 'c*nt' really felt funny, especially as he says them in front of a lady, when you think of what a gentleman he's supposed to be in real life. Blackwood, Gee, Morgan and Webbe (making his film debut in what is a very small role) just sort of do what the script requires and fade into the background a little, but Terry Stone as one of the detectives has a good main role.
As I said, it has it's faults. It's not the most original sort of film we've been seeing at the moment, it's a bit excessive at times and it feels a little overlong. But if anywhere near you's showing it, it's a little released urban gem that's worth seeking out and seeing. ****