A cack-handed stab at a genre that had already moved on before the cameras rolled.
An hour and a half plus of cockney 'ard-nuts shouting 'fackin'' at one another has worked before, and perhaps if Jack Says sequel Jack Said had followed in the immediate wake of such genre lightweights as Love, Honour and Obey it could have got away with it.
But like any gangster sequel, things have changed since Jack has been away: British geezer flicks have (thankfully) moved on and a Steadicam, some leather-faced ex-cons and a vacant lock-up in Barking are no longer enough to cause a buzz.
What’s most surprising about Jack Said is the revelation that the film is adapted from a graphic novel, which should provide some sort of pre-existing narrative cohesion. As it is, the film is clearly concerned with some kind of gangland war; Danny Dyer has stolen something from The Boss; Jack is an undercover policeman infiltrating the gang.
This is the extent of what can be discerned. Other, more disturbing questions remain: why, for instance, are the rolled mahogany desks of The Boss and his lieutenants located among the shelves of a photocopy paper warehouse? Why does Danny Dyer’s character apparently live in the same warehouse? And why does the supposedly vicious dive bar that provides a Third Place for narrative progression resemble nothing so much as an All Bar One on a particularly quiet evening?
And yet, despite its absent direction and fondness for licence-free location shooting, the movie has a couple of things going for it. One is the presence of the always watchable Dyer, although here he appears to have been given a single take to get it right; the other is Ashlie Walker as boss’ daughter Natalie, whose blend of the Evil Queen from Snow White and a pie 'n' mash shop Salome is at once ridiculously over the top and hypnotically enthralling.
Her cockney harpie is at the centre of the action as she attempts to climb gangland’s bloody pole, along the way stealing every nonsensical scene she (dis)graces. Otherwise, this is a cack-handed stab at a genre that had already moved on before the cameras rolled.