A character driven British crime story filmed entirely on an iPhone. Not my usual kind of thing, but the story is engaging, and the characters interesting.  Even if the acting is a little amateurish.

Certificate: 18

Director: Anthony Z. James

Screenwriter: Anthony Z. James

Starring: Anthony Mark Streeter, Nathan Hamilton, Russell Barnett

Genre: Crime, Drama

Runtime: 88 Minutes

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

On his first day getting out of prison, Tony wants to put his old life behind him and reconnect with his family.  His son is dealing with some problems of his own and his relationship with his dad is strained to say the least. With no where to stay, no money to his name, and to quote Liam Neeson ‘A very certain set of skills,’ it doesn’t take long before his violent past catches up with him. 

This film proves to all the naysayers out there, that you do not need ginormous Hollywood budgets, and all the fancy equipment to tell a good story and make an engaging film.  This film was shot entirely on an iPhone, and if I hadn’t had been told in advance, I would have had no idea that there was no fancy camera involved.  The shots are brilliantly framed and tightly edited, meaning the whole thing comes off looking very professional indeed.

The majority of this film isn’t what you would think of when you think of British Crime Films, it isn’t Guy Ritchie style by a long shot.  It lacks the over the top violence and guns that his films are normally filled with.  Instead this is a very heartfelt character study.  The whole driving force of the film is Tony’s search for redemption, and that is what makes the ending of the film so shocking.  He works so hard to reconnect with his old life and prove he is a different man now, only to be forced back into the world he tried so hard to leave. 

Anthony Mark Streeter gives a fantastic performance here, really embodying the character and bringing an amazing amount of charisma and emotion to the screen.  Most of his characters development has happened off screen, before the film even starts , but we are given enough breadcrumbs about his past to put two and two together and assume the kind of man he was before.  His surrounding cast are all pretty good also, all with their own things going on and their own personalities, at times the acting could be a little wooden and amateurish, but the acting is far from bad.

The film is underpinned with the social debate about ex-prison inmates.  It addresses how their lives have changed, how they can’t always just reintegrate into society, and the reasons that they may have to return straight back to the criminal behaviours that landed them in prison in the first place.  But the issue isn’t forced and isn’t shoved in the face of the viewer at the expense of telling a decent story.

It won’t be for everyone, it is slower then most crime dramas and heavily character driven, but if that is something up your street, I would recommend giving this one a go. 

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