Another chalked-up slice of Essex hooliganalia whose cinematic qualities are in extreme short supply.
Like some self-perpetuating creative industry (let's call it the ever-expanding 'hooliganalia' genre), the now-infamous Rettendon Range Rover murders from 1995 gets yet another big screen extrapolation. And much like its cinematic forebears – Rise Of The Footsoldier, Bonded By Blood, Essex Boys, etc. – it's about as fun as being hosed down in weak lager while a particularly irate taxi driver spits vile invective in your general direction.
It's all told from the perspective of Darren Nicholls (Nick Nevern), a drug-pushing goon turned supergrass who narrates the story by shouting it like he's on a bad phone line from Micronesia. The basic story charts the rise and fall of a crew of revolting, Chelmsford-based hoods whose (short) lives climax with a shotgun shell to the gob while parked down a rainy rural byway.
If nothing else, hooligan auteur Paul Tanter captures the sordid grimness of these wideboys' world as they revolve between scoffing chips in musty locals pubs, keeping up appearances at purported Essex superclub and blue drink nirvana, Raquel's (which resembles a badly repurposed Scout hut) and standing around in non-descript mini mansions while calling each other "soppy caaaants".
Kierston Wareing, so good in Ken Loach's It's A Free World and Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank, succumbs to typecast as a lippy Essex moll whose presence in the film seems engineered to up its naked flesh quotient. Other than that, performances cover the gamut from gurning to the plain ugly as the film at least doesn't ask that we view any of these people as violent folk heroes.
Yet, this is poorly made and confusingly structured, with Tanter loosing the nuances of his material to his almost magnetic attraction to lurid gangland grotesquery.
Do we really need another movie on the Rettendon Range Rover murders?
No, we really don't.
For hooliganalia apologists only.