Adulthood (15)

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The Independent Culture

Infuriating that the print of this film screened for the press featured subtitles, not just for translating the west London street argot but for noises off such as "(giggles)", "(woman moans)" etc.

A sequel to actor-writer Noel Clarke's 2006 film Kidulthood, this picks up the story of Sam Peel (Clarke) on the day of his release from prison, six years after killing a man. Returning home, he finds a family still ashamed of him and a new gang in Hoodie Central, among them an unregenerate toe-rag (Adam Deacon) determined to take revenge on Sam for his friend's murder.

It wants very much to be a thriller, but comes across as a fairly monotonous portrait of west London depravity in which brutal beatings, muggings, drug dealing and daylight robbery are a way of life. It would be harder hitting if the script didn't rely on stereotypes, the acting wasn't quite so poor and the characters weren't either sociopathic or hopelessly maladjusted.

As it is, there's far more heat than light, though Clarke himself may turn out to be a more thoughtful actor than he is a writer.