Synopsis : A London gangster must confront his ruthless father’s past in order to alter the gritty, abusive path that his life is spiraling down after a shakedown goes awry.
TAGLINE : Man wakes up in Italy and doesn’t know why or how.
This excuse for a romantic trilling mystery had fuck all to do with london. I honestly was expecting some sort of london gangster movie, if that’s what you’re looking for, just move along my friend and check out, Welcome to the Punch (2013), Layer Cake (2004), or even Triads Yardies and Onion Bhajis (2003) of if you want a low budget laugh, at least it’s set in the big smoke. Lords of London however is actually set in backwater Italy, and is quite dull.
The basis of the film is redemption, a London crime boss who is clearly based on the essence of Ray Winstone (possibly in the form of his angry character from 44″ chest (2009) gets shanked in a nightclub and wakes up with blood stains but no wounds in a rundown house in the hills of Italy, after some sobbing and running around the lush countryside he stumbles upon a village, where only one person recognises him. It seems to be a relative!? But how so?
Everything gets quite symbolic and cryptic but a story slowly unfolds as a retelling of the coupling of his abusive fuckhead of a father and beautiful mother. As Tony (Glen Murphy) starts to pick up on his chance to change the past to alter his nightclub death scene the film gets from frantic and gritty.
The screenplay is as good as the acting, there is no fault there, but there is just something so dull about the movie. It honestly doesn’t feel like it should be more than 30 minutes long. In a similar fashion to The Box (2009), originally taken from an episode of the Outer Limits and failed as a much longer film.
The film gets lost in rural Italy, both the countryside, the quaint little streets, rustic lifestyle, it’s very quiet with little to no emphasis on a cultural score. It could have worked with the charming surroundings a little more, I know it’s dealing with the tough domestic events surrounding a newcomer to a small village, but the drama is washed out by a monochrome of sound.
Writer and Director Antonio Simoncini seems very biased, everyone in Italy is loving and charming and yet he blasts any outsiders! It’s a debut which does yield an ok story it just executed badly. I give him kudos he’s made a film, it’s not something that everyone can make a claim to, and hopefully he’ll grow into a more diverse and dynamic director. He didn’t seem to be backed up all that well, fair enough he did the writing and editing is superb but I don’t see a lot of teamwork here and a huge lack of real direction.
Glen Murphy, plays a great poor relation to the great Ray Winstone, who does appear in the movie also, but i guess they couldn’t afford him throughout and made do with a cheaper double. He almost manages to sound like a politer version of Ray, but I think if he played up to his big brother and took a few more risks then he would have given a more performance. The supporting cast were very supporting, i think the elderly father figure was the most impressive actor and despite being quite and nonchalance was definitely the star.
It does bring an interesting twist to the idea of redemption, it’s often the main character who has to find it in himself to make the change in their life but in this instance it’s the sins of the father that has to be corrected. It’s not apparent first off, the mechanics of the movie are very slow in revealing what the real motives of this emotional abduction it all about, this doesn’t help as the film doesn’t have enough substance to hold it’s own until things come to the crunch.
While the movie does raise a few questions about how much of your character and life path is set before you’re even born, I’m sure there is something to gain for your own personal philosophy, but I certainly would have preferred to have read about it in Reader’s Digest than have to sit through a bulk of this.
V :Maybe with some better direction and purpose this story could be produced for the big screen in a vibrant way. This film is a bit of a let down, but it’s not all that bad. Maybe..
Rating – 3/10
R: Redirected (2014), Welcome to the Punch (2013), Layer Cake (2004), Triads Yardies and Onion Bhajis (2003), 44″ chest (2009)
DGI : Just drink heavily throughout.
5B : Redemption Movies, Ray Winstone
L: London Gangster Movies, Selected Italian Cinema
PD : N/A