DVD review: Adulthood (15)

Dir. Noel Clarke (99 mins)
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The Independent Culture

This gritty sequel to 2006's Kidulthood picks up six years on, with Sam (writer and director Noel Clarke) being released from jail, having served his sentence for a murder that brought the first film to a close.

The plot is hardly unfamiliar: reformed man fresh out of prison, wants to stay on the straight and narrow but finds his past will not leave him alone. Will Sam be dragged back into the cycle of violence and revenge on the streets of west London , or can he achieve redemption? The film falls at several hurdles. Despite some strong lead performances, a lot of the supporting actors make you wince. The script is not strong enough, and the more sentimental moments feel quite insincere. The flashy techniques (split screens, speeded-up city streets, even a Matrix-style 360-degree shot) have been seen so many times that it all feels a bit clichéd.

Adulthood was an instant box-office hit on its release in June, and those fans who maintain it is a realistic depiction of life on the streets will surely appreciate the extensive extras on offer. There's a good "making of" documentary that includes interviews with cast and crew (including a rather revealing interview in which Clarke claims that he "wrote it in about a week"), and for those who enjoy the urban soundtrack, certainly one of the film's stronger points, there are a number of decent features on some of the artists.