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Charlie (2004)

Directed by:

Malcolm Needs

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 94 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Luke Goss – remember him? He’s the bloke from Bros! Can we go mummy? Can we go? Can we go to see the Bros? They might play ‘When Will I Be Famous’ or ‘I Owe You Nothing’!! So can we? Can we go??

No. We can’t “go to see the Bros”. We’re going to sit right here in front of our DVD player and watch that nice young man burn a bloke on the side of the head with an electric fire, electrocute another guy using ridiculously-outdated wind-up torture equipment, and break a third man’s toes with a set of pliers. This is ‘Charlie’, and it’s about as far away from the world of harmless 80s pop as you can get without actually being Marilyn Manson.

It’s supposedly the tale of Charlie Richardson, the real-life 1960s London gangster who lorded it over the south side of the Thames whilst the notorious Kray twins did likewise on the north. Written and directed by Malcolm Needs, it stars Goss in the title role and presents an uneven story, half glorifying Richardson’s criminal lifestyle and half making him out to be hard done by when the Old Bill finally caught up with him. With first the universally-slated ‘Shoreditch’ on his CV and now this, you get the feeling Needs is swiftly gaining a name for himself as Britain’s premier failed-gangster-movie-director. It’s Malcolm Needs as in “Malcolm NEEDS to start making something a bit better than this.”

Of course, while watching ‘Charlie’ there’s the ever-present feeling that we’ve been here before – namely in 1990, when those two geezers from Spandau Ballet played ‘The Krays’. And, come to think of it, didn’t Phil Collins play Buster Edwards two years previously to that? You have to wonder where it’s all going to end – Simon Le Bon as Ronnie Biggs? Perhaps Pete Burns taking the title role in ‘Mad Frankie Fraser: The Movie’??

It's Got: No shortage of cringe-inducing on-screen violence.

It Needs: Some sort of consistency in its message.

DVD Extras Nothing. Not even a couple of old Bros videos. DVD Extras Rating: 0/10

Alternatives:

Shoreditch, The Krays

Summary

Too violent, too transparent, and too crap. Luke Goss should choose his roles more wisely if he truly still wants to “be famous”.

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