London Calling…

October 1, 1998 | Fast Food Reviews, Uncategorized

Well, you must hand it to British writer-director Stewart Sugg for squeezing this much style and energy out of such a low-budget production. Fast Food is one of those hip London thrillers that blends strong violence and black comedy (ie, heavy doses of A Clockwork Orange). But the film doesn’t quite work on any level, unlike the more sure-handed (and lighter-toned) Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, which was made at about the same time but got a release 18 months earlier.

Benny (the excellent Douglas Henshall) is torn between his desire for respectability as a telephone repairman and his rough, thuggish mates (Stephen Lord, Gerard Butler, Danny Midwinter and Robert Donovan). He decides to first sort out a loose thread from his past — finding the girl (Emily Woof) he had a crush on as a child. Now blind and working as a phone sex operator, Claudia’s being held as a virtual prisoner by her boyfriend Dwayne (Miles Anderson), the local crime boss who’s at war with Benny’s mates. And Dwayne really gets angry when (a) Benny tries to rescue Claudia and (b) Benny’s mates plot to steal his fortune.
The film does move along with a raw energy and wit, and some of the characters are rather engaging. But there are serious script problems, starting with some disastrous plotting, irrelevant side-stories and the fact that the film tries far too hard to be witty and clever and in-yer-face. We’ve seen it all before in the hands of much better writers and directors; this muddled attempt at crime-chic is, frankly, dead boring. In the end the story falls to bits as Sugg attempts to milk some emotional resonance from all the carnage. Not even close.

Publication: Cinezine
Author: Rich Cline

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