They put the S in Hit Men
Running Time: 93 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United Kingdom
Mark Addy, best known as the lovable tubster from The Full Monty, is more an object of annoyance than affection in this uneasy big screen adaptation of a semi-popular stage play.
He plays Frank, a fat friendless loser whose only noteworthy feature is the most incredible short-top long-back eat-your-heart-out-Chris-Waddle mullet that this reviewer has ever clapped eyes on. Things go from bad to worse for our bottom-feeding protagonist when his mum finally decides to kick him out of the family home and he has to move into a soulless Leicester B&B. Thats where he meets bespectacled simpleton Kenny (Charlie Creed-Miles) and his dribbling wheelchair-bound brother Keith (James Hooton, a.k.a. village idiot Sam Dingle from TVs Emmerdale) and thats when things start to get interesting (or at least threaten to).
Enthused by Franks tall tales of a past life as an S.A.S. hit man, empty-skulled Kenny convinces his new pal to travel to London with him and assist in the murder of the pub thug responsible for handicapping his brother. So they jump on the next National Express coach, make for the capital, and wait for their target to make an appearance. But, as you can probably guess, things dont go entirely to plan.
Directed by first-timer Julian Farino and written by Paul Tucker, its certainly got a bit or originality about it, and theres little fault to find in any of the performances. Addy makes the most of a confusing character youre never quite sure whether to hate or feel sorry for, and Samantha Morton (Creed-Miles real-life partner, dontcha know) produces probably the films most memorable performance as a ballsy hostage.
Unfortunately, the screenplay struggles to break free from the confines of its meagre theatre origins, and lacks the sort of depth necessary in both character and structure to make it a success. As for the humour it works in places, but whether theyre the places that are actually intended to be funny is anyones guess. Its not a complete mess, but its hardly the most competently put-together piece of film youre ever likely to see. Addy and Morton both do much better elsewhere.
It's Got: A cliché-tastic whistle-stop tour of Londons top attractions, from its zoo to its sex dungeons.
It Needs: Addy to stop calling everyone me duck.
DVD Extras Cast and crew info, a trailer, and some production notes. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10
Alternatives:All Or Nothing, Meantime
Lets hope it really is the last.