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Stars: Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jenna Coleman, Thomas Turgoose, Joe Blakemore, Rory McCann, Rochelle Goldie, Vivienne Acheampong

Director: Jamie Childs

Director Childs takes a plot that runs like a Craig Fairbrass reject and turns it into a pretty stylish crime movie...for about 20 minutes. That's when the threadbare base material starts kicking in.

With the help of a grindingly effective background score, things start furiously well. Our action hero (an anonymous Jackson-Cohen), once a gangster, now fresh out of the army - paddles frenziedly out into the North Sea to pick up a package for underworld king Silas (Blakemore), who has no intention of paying him.

Narrowly escaping to shore, Jackdaw finds his beloved motor-bike and hares off, hotly pursued by a gunman on a horse(!). The chase levels off from here, but for the film it's all downhill, as Jackdaw hunts for Silas, who deals drugs at one of those illegal strobe-lit raves whose flashing images sensitive eyes need to be aware of.

Soon we're down to the 'C' level of crime flick with performances that vary from competent to poor, but with much armed violence by people with bad aims, before a predictable confrontation finale. At least by today's standards, though, it's not too long (although the rave sequence certainly is). And I did like that first reel.

David Quinlan

UK 2023. UK Distributor: Vertigo. Colour (unspecified).
96 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 24 Jan 2024