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Jack Said


Stars: Simon Phillips, Danny Dyer, Rita Ramnani, Ashlie Walker, Rebecca Keatley, David O'Hara, Terry Stone, Melissa D'Arcy

Director: Lee Basannavar, Michael Tchoubouroff

Bewilderingly obtuse Britflick crime thriller - a prequel to a film (Jack Says) that no one of my acquaintance has seen - that presents a tale of cross, double-cross, undercover cops and gangland rivalry that could almost have spilled from the hands of Guy Ritchie.

Based on a graphic novel, its 'hero' is Jack (co-producer Phillips repeating his role from the earlier film), a stocky cop getting in too deep when Nathan (Dyer) steals something valuable - we never find out what - from a ganglord's safe, and goes on the run, asking Jack to look after his 'innocent' half-sister Erin (Ramnani). Naturally Jack falls for the girl, whose evil sister Nathalie (Walker) is the brains behind her father's protection racket and other shady businesses.

Just to confuse us, there's another girl who looks a lot like Erin. but seems to be one of Jack's police contacts. Lots of fake beatings follow, as Jack finds himself relishing taking over Nathan's role as enforcer with the gang, but bemoaning his lack of back-up from HQ.

Some of the cast can act here, but several can't, with the result that proceedings never register with any real conviction. Those who like this sort of thing, though, as an ex-colleague of mine was fond of saying, will find this is the sort of thing they like. Gaffe-spotters should watch for the scene where the villainess plants an incriminating photo in Jack's pocket. When Erin finds it later, it's in the other pocket. (There is no copyright date on the film).

David Quinlan

UK 2009. UK Distributor: Optimum. Colour/black and white.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

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

Review date: 22 Sep 2009