Smack is the drug of choice in this tale of London reprobates, and likeably mild-mannered user Cyrus plays the doped up protagonist finding himself on the receiving end of a particularly vicious and shamelessly corrupt detective looking to manipulate him into delivering a mammoth stash of brown while taking him out of the game for good, be it behind bars or 6 feet under.
Normally I wouldn’t be reviewing or even watching one of the endless glut of poor mockney gangster romps that have flooded the British film industry ever since Guy Ritchie unwittingly gave birth to said genre, but in this case, given the believable authenticity, original storyline, and blindingly scripted nature of said venture; I’ll make an exception.
Well selected casting, brilliant dialogue, and sterling performances all round make this a refreshingly original take on the inner city crime scene. Arin Aldridge shines as the relentlessly psychotic detective Priestly, whose pit-bull-like determination to line his pockets and take down the elusive Cyrus lends menacing weight to the fast-moving plot. Fortunately Cyrus has fearless and loyal backup on his side in the form of a pair of welsh gangsters who provide a wealth of snappy and frequently amusing dialogue and brutish ballistics to cover their business partners back. Adding to the comedic energy are an equally deranged and drug-addled mob of Russians who the detective calls in to balance the odds. Every other character has their own podium of eccentricity on which to shine, and grimily they do, in particular the laughably bigoted Jane, played to caustic perfection by Jeanette Rourke, whose foul mouthed performance as the unsympathetic and gloriously coarse dispatch controller at Cyrus’s cab firm day job is a constant source of amusement. The effects of Heroin itself even get a chance to provide laughs aplenty, particularly during a scene involving a ringing cell phone.
Naturally, there is foul language throughout, but deployed in all the right places for a change, and the frequent incidents of gunplay are air-punchingly superb. It is indeed a pleasure to see someone finally deliver a watchable, decent London crime flick that very much stands out from the crowd.
ONE NIGHT IN SMACKNEY
Director: Chris Bouchard
Starring: Nathanael Wiseman, Arin Alldridge, Enich Frost, Marlon G Day
Running Time: 90 minutes
Release Date: 3 April 2015