Friday 7 September 2012

"St. George's Day" (Metro 07/09/12)

St. George’s Day (18) 104 mins *

Frank Harper, the burly, charismatic character actor familiar from The Football Factory and Shane Meadows’ earlier films, sorely overstretches himself in co-writing and directing this unreconstructed – actually, scarcely constructed – ladfest, which sees him calling in favours from the stars of every homegrown crime caper of the past 15 years. Those mugs paying to see it in cinemas should be issued with an I-Spy Book of Two-Bob British Gangster Faces to tick off: it’d be more involving than anything in St. George’s Day itself.

Amid an insanely tangled, cooked-up-in-the-boozer plot – cobbling together lost drugs, angry Russians, hooligans, dollybirds, diamonds smuggled in sex toys and, of course, lap-dancing clubs – there’s a perverse enjoyment to be found in seeing Harper and Craig Fairbrass, as bristling cousins, re-enacting the Michael-and-Fredo business from The Godfather on a Tesco Value budget. Still, you’d be happier if the goons and uglymugs reasserting England’s glory over the Dimitri-come-latelies of Eastern Europe didn’t look and sound quite so much like English Defence League canvassers. Jog on, everybody. Jog on.

St. George's Day opens in selected cinemas today.

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