Tuesday, 18 May 2010

No.34 : The Firm




Nah, not the Tom Cruise one, this is more like Cockney Wanker : The Movie - only with more sportswear.

Nick love directs this remake of the original TV film that starred Gary Oldman. Rather than update the story it remains set in the 1980’s and has nothing of interest to say whatsoever. It does have wall to wall 80’s hits though so at least the soundtrack isn’t a total loss.

The ‘firm’ is a gang of football hooligans who travel the country looking for fights with rival gangs. The film open with a couple of fresh faced yoofs trying to have it large in some crappy nightclub. Some tit wearing shorts gets their attention and after he head buts their leader they become very impressed indeed. The shorts wearer is Bex the leader of the local firm.

The lads crap their pants when they learn who they challenged and are forced into a grovelling apology at the pub. Not one to bear a grudge Bex invites our hero, Dom, along on their next away day. Predictably this ends with a big scrap with the locals, and the impressionable Dom becomes seduced by the patter and sports wear.

He quickly ditches his friends to follow the hooligans and starts to mimic Bex’s speech and dress. He eventually realises that Bex is in fact a nutter and despite his normal job and home life his new hero is destined to get them all a big smack. As the final battle with the rival Yeti’s crew looms large Dom has to question the choices he’s made and whether there is any way to escape.

This is a dreadful and nasty film that has nothing to redeem it apart from ‘Mega Hits of the 80s’ playing in the background throughout. The original ‘The Firm’ was laden with social commentary and rapier sharp dialogue - this effort is a bunch of wankers wearing tracksuits and calling each other ‘cants’ all the time.

It is of course aimed straight at its target market of arseholes and neds and I’m sure all the nostalgia isn’t there by accident. You can just imagine the big laughs coming from Neanderthals every time waffle trousers or tie pin chains get a look in. The clothes are ridiculous and not very authentic. Of course your scum wore tracksuits but in this everything was too shiny and brand new - even after the scraps.

The fights themselves, on which the whole film hangs, were poorly handled with a shaky camera and sharp cuts making up for real action and excitement. Most of the fights were just goading and running away. This may be realistic but it just came over as a lot of fannies jumping around to ‘Tainted Love’.

The characters were awful too with our hero Dom the worst of the bunch. We’re meant to buy that he’s been seduced by the world of violence and the charismatic Bex but he just looks like a puppy stuck in a gay love story. His attempts to make the patois sound authentic are laughable and it has to be the most cringe worthy performance in many years.

Bex is a bit better but lacks Gary Oldman’s quiet menace, whereas Yeti is amazingly miscast - he’s not even got white hair - the clue was in his name Mr Casting Director. It was nice to see the lovely Camille Coduri off ‘Dr Who’ as Mum but alas she had even less to work with than she did in ‘Nuns On the Run’.

I’m not sure what message the film was trying to convey and I think it really just served as a dumbed down remake for the enjoyment of the scumbags involved in the real fights who are probably out of the clink by now. It did show what and empty and vacuous life these people live but only by being empty and vacuous itself. A nasty, hateful film that is as much fun to watch as a Stanley knife is to chew on.

THE Tag Line : Firm Softens The Head 35%

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