A minor gem of a gangster flick,
This review is from: Wild Bill (Amazon Video)
Low-life drug-dealing flick with Charlie Creed-Miles, a promising actor who played a despicable wife-beating cop in Injustice (2012), and did well in the hyperviolent, also made-for-TV Falcón (2013).
In this he plays Bill, just out on parole but risking a swift return if his dog as much as soils the sidewalk. The trouble starts when his younger son messes up with his old drug-dealing mates. The lowish budget is perfectly adequate to film this tale with panache, in fare not quite as violent as you'd expect from a Brit tough-guys flick (I'm thinking of the unmissable 'Sexy Beast,' e.g.). Still, there's a scene to excite the 14-year-old-boy in anyone, and the end makes for a gritty, well-rounded, satisfying plot.
Dexter Fletcher makes a strong directorial debut with this, and co-wrote the often witty script with Danny King. The plot moves along nicely, and there's some depth of character, even if many secondary parts are weak, seldom rising above the 2-dimensional. Sad to see both Olivia Williams and Andy Serkis go wasted in roles that lack profiling and could have added much with richer dialogue: he's menacing enough despite a lack of good lines, but she's way too Knightsbridge for the part, ugly hairdo notwithstanding. Only Wild Bill's 11- and 15-year-old sons James (Sammy Williams) and Dean (Will Poulter) stand out; the first for a meaty part, while the second takes a convincing turn at brass-balled defiance.
What's egregious is the lack of captions, given the accents. Daft marketing, in fact: the minor bother of a thousand pounds or two would have delivered them large English-speaking fans abroad. Ditto for the sound's quality - a recurring weakness in too much Brit fare, going back decades. Here, the music's up a few notches above the dialogue. No big deal, it's true, yet also .so. easy to correct that it rankles. Hopefully, if there's to be a next reunion of these talents, they'll get these right. And ideally, they'll re-release this with these two tech gaffes corrected.
With captions this would be a minor gem in a career or two that may get some deserved fame.