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Man Inside, The


Stars: Ashley 'Bashy' Thomas, David Harewood, Jason Maza, Michelle Ryan, Peter Mullan

Director: Dan Turner

Another week, another low-budget British thriller whose natural home (despite being filmed in a widescreen format) is in a late night television slot. (Mind you there are two things in its favour – firstly there is no BBC money involved in its making and secondly, Lottery money is also absent).

And give writer-director Turner his due – if he missed a single genre cliché, I must have missed it as well. Otherwise it’s simply a standard ‘seen-it-all-before’ story of a Black Londoner – Thomas – who, exposed to crime at its worst as a child when his father Harewood involved him in the murder for which Harewood is now serving a life sentence – is now trying to expunge his past by training to be a boxer.

Naturally, Thomas’ efforts to live a good life are derailed by family troubles including the stabbing of his brother, which finally drive him to reunite with his imprisoned father - and violence follows...

Thomas and Mullan as his trainer are just about adequate but unmemorable. Harewood attacks his psycho jailbird role like a starving man laying into a pile of sugared doughnuts and former EastEnder and one-time Bionic Woman Ryan sports black lipstick as the key element for her portrayal of Mullan’s daughter and Thomas’ girlfriend.

Richard Swingle’s moody photography of grimy urban locations is a prime asset but , like the film itself, fails to linger in the memory.

Alan Frank

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope . Colour.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 27 Jul 2012