FIXED (2021) Reviews and overview of crime thriller

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‘He fixed the fight, now he must fix his life’

Fixed is a 2021 crime thriller about a small-time hustler caught up in a desperate race against time in a life-or-death situation.

Directed by Jez Alsop – making his feature debut – from a screenplay written by Ryan Davis. Produced by Ryan Davis and Alan McQueen. Executive produced by Jez Alsop, Thomas Atherton, Ian Johnson, Gary Phillips and Mark Vennis.

The British Fixed Film production stars Nicholas Clarke (Are We Dead Yet; Leopard), Gregory Piper (Line of Duty), Esther Stanford, Darren Tassell, Laurence Saunders, Nisaro Karim, Dean Kilbey (All the Money in the World), Anthony Wakefield, Tim Harris, Phillip Ray Tommy (Blackbird, King Arthur) and Juice Aleem.

On the night that low-level gambler, Daz Clemance (Nicholas Clarke) is leaving Birmingham to start a crime-free life with his girlfriend in Spain, he is accused of fixing an illicit bare-knuckle fight.

Beaten, stabbed, and locked in a cupboard, Daz is left armed only with his phone and his wits. Will he escape from the locked and guarded room before his boss wreaks revenge?

Fixed is a well-constructed claustrophobic thriller that benefits brilliantly from Nicholas Clarke’s impressive performance as a desperate man with seemingly no options in life left. Stabbed in the stomach and locked in a cupboard, Clarke’s character Daz has to make a series of frantic mobile calls to try and call in favours and rescue himself from the prospect of further serious injury and presumably his own imminent demise.

Director Jez Alsop cleverly uses a variety of camera techniques such as tight-angle shots and split screens to not only place the viewer in Daz’s dire predicament but, ably assisted by some rapid editing by first-time Mikolaj Kacprzak, create a downbeat drama in which we feel as desperate to break out too.

Former alcoholic and pill-popper Daz has clearly made many mistakes in life and let so many people down, including his ex-wife and son, it’s initially hard to sympathise with him. However, to scriptwriter Ryan Davis’ credit, we do begin to hope he can escape his past and current catastrophic situation and there are subtle moments that utilise dark humour to make us warm to this rather pathetic character. Meanwhile, as Daz downs ever more painkillers, the synth-heavy score by Dan Finnemore and Richard March adds an otherworldliness to the proceedings.

Despite a few cheeky contrived shots that are used to merely heighten the drama and recall the unbelievability of found-footage films, Fixed is an impressive debut for all concerned and is well-recommended both as a great indie effort. It’s also a film that can make us all ponder on our own life choices.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
“Some really great performances in here, and the cinematography is really great, the colour grade is phenomenal and set decoration is done so well! Jez really pulls the film together with his direction. Whilst I really appreciate that the edit tried something new, and fresh, but sometimes it felt flat in execution.” Ethan Cartwright

“Clarke’s performance draws you in up to a point (some of the acting elsewhere is pretty ropey). He plays Daz as a bit of a loser, someone who’s got by on cheeky-chap banter […] The script turns the screws with workmanlike efficiency until the arrival of a sob story intended to make you feel sorry for Daz and it all gets a bit exasperating. The film is never that believable either…” The Guardian

“What we are given with Fixed is an interesting premise and one that is actually well thought out and acted. We are left not only wondering if Daz will manage to escape but if this will be the wake-up call he needs to be a better person. In the end, we are entertained by a well-paced film that tells a tale that may actually have more heart than expected.” Pissed Off Geek

Fixed is, at times, an intense affair. Clarke’s performance anchors the film, his desperation palpable and compelling. Despite some convenient writing and ineffective editing choices, Alsop’s film is overall strong and definitely worth a look.” UK Film Review

Release date:
In the UK, Fixed was released on Digital by Trinity Creative on 22nd November 2021.

Filming locations:
Birmingham, England



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