Montana, film review: Low-budget British thriller ignores plotting or dialogue

(15) Mo Ali, 103 mins. Starring: Ashley Walters, Adam Deacon, Lars Mikkelsen, McKell David, Brad Moore, Michelle Fairley

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The Independent Culture

The recent wave of British urban low-budget thrillers was partly stemmed when their distributor of choice, Revolver Entertainment, went into administration last year. Montana shows that such films are still being made.

Director Mo Ali has an obvious flair for action – but little instinct for story or characterisation. At times, his new film plays like an episode of Grange Hill as if directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Mckell David is Montana, the teenager from a rough London estate who joins forces with grieving, one-legged Balkan war veteran/hitman/martial arts guru Lars Mikkelsen to wreak vengeance on a drug-smuggling gang. All the usual ingredients are thrown in the mix – bent coppers, references to spaghetti westerns, shoot-outs in warehouses, and one violent scene set in a sauna.

Ali has some very capable actors in his cast – Mikkelsen, Michelle Fairley from Game of Thrones as a long-suffering police boss and Zlatko Buric from Pusher as a gangster – but is too busy choreographing ninja-style scenes of mayhem and violence to pay any attention to plotting or dialogue.

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