Noel Clarke showed a lot of promise as a independent British film maker with the excellent Adulthood, the second part of Kidulthood of which he also wrote. Both films had an honest and frightening portrayal of youth culture today. What made these films stand out was the depth of the characters he created not seen in others films trying to portray the same subject of youth gone wrong, the audience actually cared about where these people's lives would lead to. Clarke is a film maker with something bold to say and has his own style with plenty of potential to be one of uk's top film makers. Unfortunately his latest film 184.108.40.206 doesn't confirm this.
220.127.116.11 is a film that promises a lot with poster tagline says 4 girls, 3 days, 2 cities, 1 chance, its an exciting set up. 4 friends stories and lives told separately all of which become linked through a diamond heist with some rough characters in pursuit. This type of story telling has worked very well for Tarantino's classic Pulp Fiction and Doug Limans "Go!". In fact this film has more in common with "Go!" in terms of plot. You only have to see both these films to know that when done right this type of story telling can be exciting, fresh and damn good fun but Clarke just doesn't seem to have a grip of the story and where its going, it could have done with a better edit, each of the girls stories are overlong and drawn out where they could have been fast, sharp and snappy with only Shannon's story (the first to be shown) showing excitement and gripping an audience, such a shame as this was a promising start. The New York sequence felt poorly executed and unexplained, a poor attempt at a cross over potential with cameo's from Kevin Smith (which was more irritating then funny) and Eve (quite pointless).
The performances from the four leads do save the film from being a total failure, particularly from Ophelia Lovibond and Emma Roberts. Clarke clearly shows his gift for writing strong and rich characters. Some people have cried stereotype's for the four leads, with this i disagree in fact i feel all four of them were girls you could route for and were the strongest aspect of the film The sad part is i really wanted to love this film, i had high expectations and hoped it could be a winning cross over for Clarke. This film overall failed to give me the same excitement i had for his previous films. The plot and pacing felt uneven, the whole film was half an hour too long and more importantly not fun at all making 18.104.22.168 feel like a wasted opportunity to wider Clarke's audiences. I believe the best is yet to come from the award winning film maker but this is not the best example of his talent only showing a small amount of his potential. Maybe go back to basics next time!
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