King of Crime: The British gangster movie with more twists than a French plait

The King of Crime

Being of a positive disposition, it's difficult to know where to begin with the Kind of Crime but out of respect for the hard work that goes into such a production, Ill start with the positive.  


Wingett and Hainsley Lloyd Bennett gave it their all and managed great performances in the face of adversity. Rachel Bright was a bit flat. Great in some scenes and awful in others, both in equal measure, which was confusing until the startling realisation dawned on me. They are all swimming up-stream through the river of turd that was the script.  It's bad. I don't mean "prison cell block H" bad where its hammy but still entertaining.  It feels like it was written by my mum trying to write an edgy and cool gangster movie but missed the mark by a middle-class country mile. In fact, it was so bad, I genuinely don't know if this movie was an attempt to subversively mock the British gangster movie genre.


You think its heading one way and then it turns. It's great for that but even that story isn't strong enough to overcome that script or, in general, the way it was delivered.


Minor characters and most major characters are one dimensional with zero consideration given to who they actually are. It's as if all the dialogue for minor characters was written to be the same person. They all speak in the same way as if the writer had never been exposed to anyone outside of their own social group.  This leads to some pretty cliched wording.  A wise man once told me "it's okay to start on a cliché, as long as you don't finish on one." To its credit. the story sidesteps clichés pretty well. You think its heading one way and then it turns. It's great for that but even that story isn't strong enough to overcome that script or, in general, the way it was delivered.


A problem arise as a viewer when I am asking myself if I'm supposed to think because the actor's character was lying (therefore acting,) is that why they were unconvincing or is it just the actor, but now I'm just "inceptioning" myself. By the end, I had decided it was the script, not the actors. It was exactly this that lead to at least two of the many, many plot twists to be of no surprise upon their reveal which was a shame because they could have been interesting twists.


The story is actually very good. It's about a ruthless criminal family who run a cybercrime scam, being run out of town by the head of a terrorist organisation (played by lock stocks Vas Blackwood.) It's a modern take on the British gangster movie with more twists than a French plait.


Despite that, the characters feel one dimensional and, aside from a few exceptions, they leave you feeling that they are just poorly thought out, unbelievable characters.  A little 60 second stab is made at the lead characters backstory but even that just feels banal.  As I said, It takes an actor of some quality to deliver bad lines in a way that still works. Wingett and Lloyd Bennett managed this almost all the movie and it's a credit to their skills as actors in the face of THAT script.  It's basically just a bunch of unbelievable characters making interesting decisions in uninteresting ways (oh no, the house is on fire, I know, I'll head upstairs to escape.) Interesting events, articulated in the most boring and obvious way aren't entertaining.


The music is worse than most 1990s TV movies. The CGI effects look like they were probably done by a 65 year old who just learned how to program basic on an Amstrad cpc464 (if you're under 35 you'll have to look that reference up.) The physical special effects look like Barry from down the pub had a half decent stab at dressing as a zombie one Halloween so they gave him the job.  Explosions were awful, fire effects were awful and some of the worst CGI I have seen for a hole in the ground ever left me asking myself "why not just dig a hole?"


The main problem with low budget special effect are that the look low budged. One particularly gruesome event which should have been a pulpy mass of meaty goo actually resulted in in a guy laying on the ground with little more than a tomato ketchup facial. That concept alone entertained me more than the film had up to this point. If you don't have the budget, find a less obvious way to hint at the violence.  A close up on the face of that victim just wasn't in the budget so why not simply leave it out?  If that was a directing choice, it was a bad one in my humble opinion because that makes it impossible to take what should have been a good scene seriously and I think that's what I was supposed to do.


All in all I left the movie laughing at it for all the wrong reasons.  If I hadn't agreed to review it, I wouldn't have finished it. Im off to create an actual hole in the ground to see if I cant get this movie buried in it.  No one should be forced to suffer the fate of watching that. 



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