‘It’s fun getting high… but the comedown’s a killer’
From the director of Kidulthood comes Comedown, another godawful study of urban ‘yoof’, this time within the confines of a slasher movie. And while some critics – the sort who only meet working-class people when they are being served by them in Waitrose – will fawn over crap like this in an effort to assuage their middle-class guilt, I’m not falling for it.
As much as the constantly posh kids of pre-1980s British film and TV were not an accurate representation of the nation, neither are the gang bangers, drug dealers, petty crims and street skanks that our filmmakers are obsessed with now.
This latest example sees a collection of irritating and entirely unlikeable characters who are hired to place a pirate radio antenna at the top on an abandoned tower block. While they sit toking, tripping and banging on incessantly, a mysterious presence is watching and begins to pick them off one by one.
That’s it for plot, writer Steven Kendall saving most of his creative energy for writing ham-fisted dialogue that the cast of stage school kids and soap opera rejects bellow in their best ‘yoof’ accents. The dialogue is often so incomprehensible that I’d contemplated checking for subtitles – however, it was obvious that it consisted of little more than variations on whatever buzzwords someone had told Kendall were what the kids were saying these days. I’d imagine subtitles will be mandatory for anyone outside the UK though.
To be fair, director Menhaj Huda manages to come up with the odd interesting visual – enough to suggest that he might be capable of doing something interesting in he can move on from his fixation with street cred, get himself a cinematographer who doesn’t think that giving everything a green wash adds style and find a decent screenplay. As it is, any flourishes he might show here are lost in a frenzy of bad pacing, bad acting, awful dialogue and a notable lack of tension. To create tension, you need to give the audience someone to root for. Quite honestly, seeing a bunch of thugs, pyromaniacs and wannabe gangstas getting killed off felt more like a service to society.
2012 was certainly the year of tower block movies, but discerning audiences will be better off sticking with The Raid or Dredd. This is a horribly annoying film about horribly annoying people, and we have enough of those as it is without encouraging more.
David Flint, MOVIES & MANIA
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