4.3.2.1 (15)

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The Independent Culture

The actor-writer-director Noel Clarke has moved on from the earnest Brit realism of Adulthood to a trippier, zippier style of Anglo-American thriller.

The "4" of the title is a quartet of girlfriends who endure a hectic "3" days of misadventure and misunderstanding, at the heart of which is a cache of diamonds stolen from a Belgian bank and now doing the rounds in the London underworld. The cast – Ophelia Lovibond, Tamsin Egerton, Shanika Warren-Markland and Emma Roberts – play these sassy urbanites with gusto if not much grace, essentially at the mercy of a stop-start four-tiered plot that would very much like to be this generation's Pulp Fiction, or even its Go. The film flits from London to New York and back, marking a tale of "2" cities that has ambition to spare but not a lot of tautness in the writing. A white man, having offended a crew of black New Yorkers, tries desperately to save himself: "Please – I voted for Obama!" That's the film's "1" good joke.

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