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Payback Season


Stars: Adam Deacon, Nichola Burley, David Ajala, Leo Gregory, Anna Popplewell, Bronson Webb, Billy Seymour, Arnold Oceng, Sir Geoff Hurst, Nicola Posener

Director: Danny Donnelly

Deacon won the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award at the recent BAFTA ego-feast. His film, however, is a lemon.

The press notes describe Payback Season as a “gritty thriller”. There’s plenty of grit – in the sense of substances that hurt your eyes when the wind blows bits of grit into them, but the description “thriller” is a tad too fanciful for this low budget, lower aspiration saga that casts Deacon as a rising footballer who has escaped his beginnings on "the tough streets of London” and “beaten the odds to escape the council estate where he grew up”.

So far, so routine.

Then everything Deacon has achieved, including an expensive Ferrari which makes the most memorable impression in the movie and an expensive riverside apartment, is threatened by old ‘friend’ from the estate (Ajala) and his gang who give him and his younger brother a hard time with a nasty mixture of blackmail and intimidation…

Romance between Deacon and television reporter Burley is injected into the clichéd violent brew without bringing it to the boil. I’ve no real idea whether writers Donnelly and Jenny Fitzpatrick intended Deacon’s character to be realistic or likeable. In the final analysis, he is neither. Just like the movie

Alan Frank

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Revolver Entertainment. Colour.
91 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 09 Mar 2012