Friday 21 May 2010
Perplexing. Philip Ridley's film starts out as a portrait of urban alienation before lurching into an occult horror trip.
Set in east London, it stars Jim Sturgess as nice-guy photographer Jamie, whose painful shyness derives from the purplish heart-shaped birthmark on his face. Late one night he photographs a hoodie whose face seems to be that of a reptilian, razor-toothed monster. What follows is a not entirely comprehensible mixture of broken-Britain realism and nutso fantasy. First, Jamie's mother and next-door neighbour are brutally murdered; then he enters an unforeseen Faustian pact with a certain Papa B who claims to be "the patron saint of random violence" and employs Eddie Marsan as his weapons man. At times you wonder whether Philip Ridley has a clear idea of where his film is going; elements of romance, of familial melodrama, of Grand Guignol struggle for a foothold into coherence. Those lizard-headed monsters, for example – are they real? If not, how do they manage to improvise flame-throwers? Ridley has attracted some top-notch performers, including Timothy Spall and Noel Clarke, but they are squandered in a film that can't decide on an identity.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Eurovision 2015: Finnish punk band with learning disabilities applies to raise awareness
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Aidan Turner interview: 'being a sex symbol is a little awkward'
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'