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St George's Day


Stars: Frank Harper, Craig Fairbrass, Charles Dance, Luke Treadaway, Vincent Regan, Dexter Fletcher, Sean Pertwee, Keeley Hazell, Nick Moran, Neil Maskell, Jamie Foreman, Ashley Walters, Zlatko Buric

Director: Frank Harper

Hardman actor Harper, probably best known for his role in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, steps behind the camera to co-write and make his directorial debut with a cliché-ridden ‘geezer’ crime thriller that might just make Guy Ritchie think about thinking it might be worth checking his hard-earned credentials as a Mockney moviemaker.

Harper takes the leading role of an infamous London gangster who, with his criminal cousin Craig Fairbrass who lead the leading ‘firm’ in the capital and do their bit for immigration control by gunning down the foreign criminals who annoy them. Their, luck changes, however, when they lose a large drugs shipment that belongs to the Russian Mafia and so trigger off a potentially career-ending turf war.

Harper and Fairbrass reckon their salvation lies in a heist to be carried out in Berlin and, with the Russians and the police after them they travel to the continent with a large English firm heading to watch the 3 Lions take on the Germans on – aw, shucks, you guessed it! – St George’s Day…

Harper’s competent but undistinguished direction is as largely as formulaic as his screenplay (co-written with Urs Buehler) with Harper’s narration filling in lacunae in plotting and storytelling while the European location shooting adds some welcome depth.

Mind you, St George’s Day definitely scores in one significant dimension – its cast is large and a features such familiar British faces as Luke Treadaway, Ashley Walters, Jamie Foreman, Neil Maskell, Nick Moran, Sean Pertwee and Dexter Fletcher and, somewhat improbably, given the genre, Charles Dance. Nobody on both sides of the camera disgraces themselves even if on reflection, they do not have a great amount to strive for.

Alan Frank

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour.
108 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

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

Review date: 06 Sep 2012