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Eaten by Lions


Stars: Antonio Aakeel, Jack Carroll, Asim Chaudhry, Darshan Jaeriwala, Vicki Pepperdine, Johnny Vegas, Kevin Eldon, Natalie Davies

Director: Jason Wingard

This farcical tale seems to want to develop into a low-budget Britflick sideshoot from Crazy Rich Asians. For the most part, however, it's just toe-curlingly awful.

Things do pick up a little towards the end but it's only because the film belatedly starts to take itself a little more seriously.

The fun, or rather lack of it, centres on foster-brothers Omar (the very good-looking Aakeel) and the disabled, ever-hungry Pete (Carroll) who have lived with their Gran (Stephanie Fayerman) since their adoptive parents were eaten by lions while on safari. When Gran dies, the boys, now 17, find themselves foisted on to (too) awful relatives who don't want them - Omar especially.

Looking for Omar's birth father, the odd couple heads for Blackpool, where they (hugely improbably) lose their money and suitcase in the sea, and end up at the capacious home of a completely batty (and heavily over-acted) family of Lancashire Asians, one of the battiest of whom turns out to be Omar's father.

Below-the-belt situations there proliferate, inevitably culminating in someone being sick on someone else, maybe after thinking of Vegas' 'guest' performance as the boys' temporary landlord.

Relative highlights include a bizarre fortune-teller (Tom Binns) who tells Omar that there is someone for him, but that 'you need to find this person and avoid air travel with them.' Even that is typical of the movie's wild-eyed and cartoonish approach, all totally undisciplined thanks to over-enthusiastic direction that gropes for (and misses) a consistent tone.

The widescreen photography of Matt North, however, is handsome indeed: Blackpool has never looked better.

David Quinlan

UK 2018. UK Distributor: Munro Film Services. Colour (unspecified).
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

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

Review date: 25 Mar 2019