Shank

"Very Good"

Shank Review


Locally produced in Bristol with an up-and-coming cast and crew, this drama is remarkably tough, constantly challenging our preconceptions. It also transcends its budget to create interesting characters and some truly harrowing situations.

Cal (Virgo) is a teenager afraid to reveal his real desires to his friends, a gang of happy-slappers who torment anyone who's different from them. Sneaking around having anonymous sex with men, Cal is terrified his gang will discover that he's gay. But he goes out on a limb to rescue the French student Olivier (Laurent) from a beating, and the two become more than friends. Meanwhile, a former one-night stand (Summers) offers Cal a way out of his violent world. But his pals Jonno and Nessa (Bott and Payne) won't leave things alone.

The real revelation here is 21-year-old director Pearce, who with his first film creates a fresh and provocative atmosphere that focuses on the characters while allowing us to feel the fierce, emotionally charged world they live in.

It's a bracingly honest approach to chav culture, capturing complexities of sex and sexuality, as well as the violence, with remarkable insight. It's rare to see a film present homophobia as honestly as this, combining paranoia with confusion and self-loathing.

This style of filmmaking also creates characters who, even though they take sides in the ensuing drama, have layers of complexity woven through their back stories. Virgo and Bott are especially good, creating a strong physicality between Cal and Jonno that suggest all kinds of issues and reveals itself in unexpected ways. And beyond their strong chemistry, they're remarkably effective in their own intensely dramatic scenes. The other standout is Payne, a star in the making who's simply astonishing as the ruthless ringleader.

The film is punctuated by some fairly intense violence, and the brutal climax is pretty hard to watch. This sequence is both full-on and overwrought, while some other scenes feel somewhat cliched. And the script is held together by rather too may coincidental connections between the various characters. But none of this weakens the film's raw depiction of youth culture. This is as exciting and urgent as street-level filmmaking gets; see it before the cast and crew are gobbled up by the industry.



Shank

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th March 2010

Distributed by: Revolver Entertainment

Production compaines: TLA Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 4.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Simon Pearce

Producer: Christian Martin, Robert Shulevitz

Starring: Wayne Virgo as Cal, Marc Laurent as Oliver, Alice Payne as Nessa, Tom Bott as Jonno, Garry Summers as Scott, Bernie Hodges as Will

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.