After spending 8 years in jail, Bill (Charlie Creed-Miles) is finally released and finds that everything at home has changed. His wife has run out, not only on him, but also on his 11 and 15 year old sons. Bill’s eldest son Dean (Will Poulter) has tried to keep everything under control and wants nothing to do with his father. Bill is happy with that deal as he’s not ready to be a hands on dad, but that all changes when social services get involved and threaten to put the boys into care, unless Bill takes charge. Surprisingly, Bill enjoys this role, but when his younger son Jimmy (Sammy Williams) gets into a spot of bother with the local gangsters, will Bill stand up for his son, and risk going to jail, or will he look after himself?
Guy Ritchie seems to have the hold on English Gangster films. He makes tough but also enjoyable, quirky, fun films like RockNRolla and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, so it’s hard to imagine anyone else making an impact on this genre.
Dexter Fletcher has managed to do it with his directorial debut. Fletcher has created his own interpretation of the English Gangster movie. His is a charming gangster film. Had this been made in Hollywood, it would have been a saccharine filled, sop fest. Fletcher is spot on with his tone and story. It’s a gritty enough gangster story, without being too over the top, with a gripping family story at the heart of it
While some of the ‘Gangster’ casting could have been improved, the casting of the actual family was perfect! Creed-Miles, Poulter, and Williams work so well together. Their interactions are so natural that sometimes you forget you’re watching actors acting!
This won’t have a big impact at the cinema but it is definitely worth the watch. This is a great directorial debut by Fletcher. He does not try any over the top tricks/flairs, and as a result pulls off a charming, witty film. If this is what he has done with his first film, I can’t wait to see what he gives us next!