So bad it was almost.....no, just SO bad
laocaen | UK | 09/26/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This film had every thing going for it, before it was made. A great cast: Rhys Ifrans, Joeseph Fiennes, Steven Berkoff and Tara Fitzgerald. A story based on a popular book, and Lottery Funding. However, it came out as the film named by the critic Bonnie Greer "the worst film ever made". How? Well, lets start with the story, or should we say, stories. Primary thread: a man dies leaving his business wholly to his lazy and disinterested son (Ifrans) while the man who has done all the work (Fiennes) gets nothing. Fiennes builds up a great store of resentment and hatred, and decides to destroy Ifrans, and end up with his wife (a wooden Sadie Frost), his business, and his life in general. He decides that the best way of doing this (not to give the plot entirely away) involves the Russian Mafia (Berkoff as "Godfather" and Fitzgerald as his "vamp" and highly accented, daughter).
Second plot: Ifrans and Frost are trying for a baby. At various points, for example, Ifrans is on the way to a fertility clinic with a pot of fresh sperm, the two plots affect each other, but generally they have no contact.
This second plot attempts to add humour, but, as with all attempts to add humour in this film, it fails. In fact for part of the film this plot takes over, and there are many and varied sex scenes (with Ifrans sperm obsessed voice over), all of which include Ifrans, but not always Frost.So, apart from a ridiculous "plot" what makes this film bad: many good films have had ridiculous plots (Forrest Gump, The Wizard of Oz, Blazing Saddles)and suspension of disbelief has done its work. Well, the acting is the main culprit, and since these are all reasonable actors (Sadie Frost aside: she is constant in her mediocrity) the direction has to have some hand it its awfulness. It is directed and edited in the style now most closely associated with bad british films and music videos: quick and nonsensical, with music and "style" piled on it like pizza toppings. Strange or "wacky" camera angles and ultra fashionable styling make it awkward to watch.As with all things fashionable, the acting is of the moment and therefore un realistic, and unconnected with both the audience and the story. Though there is comedy in the story, to balence it, there must be pathos, but there is not. I have not read the book, but I would imagine the balence would be there. However, here there are the Mafia caper "laughs" squeezed out, so tiny as to be un heard, but none of the pathos or humanity to make the laughs louder and less forced. In short, they do not act the parts, they just say them as if they were leaving the hard work up to a good editorial team, and a good director (both of which they did not have...).But, apart from the direction, style and acting, the real cherry on the cake is the script, or body of the film itself. It is full of cliches, and cack handed one-liners, which lead to ham acting (Berkoff, Fitzgerald) and bad accents (Fiennes) as well as unbelieveable scenes.This combination is so foribly bad, that it leaves you both bewildered and angry: where did my time go? Why did I bother watching/renting that? How could Joesph Fiennes/Rhys Ifrans have consented to have appeared in that? How much did it cost?...The film, therefore, is the sum of its many dismal parts: no wonder it went straight to video in the UK, even we are ashamed of it."
Do Not Buy This Movie
laocaen | 09/01/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The Russian mafia should sue these people for bad acting. When the pseudo-Russians are on the screen time passes ever so slowly. Save your money and buy a good movie like Shallow Grave, which covers some of the same themes of greed, friendship, and betrayal. This movie does the impossible and makes Rhys Ifans seem dull. If you like Tara Fitzgerald buy Sirens, but give this sad effort a pass. It is much less than the sum of its parts."
Great Cast + Great Acting = Incredible Film
Baker | RI, USA | 07/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoyed Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels along with GO, this is the movie for you. With two great lead characters and a large cast of talented actors this movie was excellent. It is the story of two bussiness partners one a careless fun boy the other a hard calculating individual. The two become in debt and borrow money from the mafia and that is where things get hilarious. If you enjoy a good comedy with a bit of action this is the right film for you"
All marf, no trousers
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 02/17/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"In the wake of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the British film industry rapidly became swamped with bad gangster films in the late `90s-early `00s that seem even more desperate today than they did then. In one of the all-time great cases of pearls-from-swine, the producers of Rancid Aluminium brazenly plastered the quote `The best film of the century' from one review all over the ads while omitting the rest of the sentence pointing out that that was only because, at the time of writing, it was the only film that had been released in 2000. Looking at it today it's hard to imagine how it ever got made, uniting a cast that was briefly considered the cream of Cool Britannia's Lads Mags Brigade - Rhys Ifans, Sadie Frost, Nick Moran and Joseph Fiennes - but now merely a guarantee of a turkey every time in a confused adaptation of a confused James Hawes novel. That the plot is never explained could be down to the possibility that no-one really knows what it is, or perhaps simply don't think it matters. Something to do with Ifans' businessman being set up with Steven Berkoff's homicidal Russian crime lord in a money-laundering or investment scheme (it's never clear which because no-one ever asks) by Fiennes' crooked Irish accountant, who expects the Russians to kill off Ifans so he can take over his failing company. Things get increasingly confused and underexplained from there on, Ifans alternates between shouting about how terrible his life is while juggling visits to the fertility clinic and sleeping with his secretary and Tara Fitzgerald's ludicrously accented Russian temptress, Berkoff keeps on saying "Bizniss" and "Francis Drake" and Fiennes does a decent Irish accent while proving that just because he played a great writer in Shakespeare in Love doesn't mean he's any judge of good writing when it comes to film scripts.
When the most convincing performances come from Keith Allen and Dani Behr, you know a film is in deep trouble. With Poland standing in for a Russia filled with people with Polish accents and a strange score that veers from John Barry pastiche to lounge music to Ennio Morricone spaghetti Western on a stylophone budget, it fails completely in the cool stakes it's aiming for and ends up in a curious overplotted but almost plotless limbo all its own, sitting there like a joke shop dog turd."