Quick Movie Review: Rise of the Footsoldier (extended edition) – 2007 – directed by Julian Gilbey

Posted: February 3, 2013 in Thriller
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was impressed when I finally got round to watching this film. I kept putting it off and finally gave in when they released the 135 minute cut of the feature. I don’t know what the added footage is as I’ve never seen the other cut, but I can happily say that the film feels a pretty good length.

I went into the film expecting the usual British gangster flick that has been popular ever since films like ‘Snatch’ and ‘Lock Stock..’ brought the British gangster scene into cinemas. A lot of these films I really didn’t think much of, ‘football factory’ and ‘the business’ being two examples of how not to make a good film. I also didn’t know anything about the plot of the film when I started watching it so was surprised to see that it was a re-telling of the ‘Rettendon murders’ (The same story that ‘Essex Boys’ covered just in more detail).

The pace is great and I really liked the way in which we see the changes in the protagonists mental state as the film goes on. It plays on the whole, ‘who can I trust’ mentality that courses through every scene of the movie.

The  acting is great on all counts especially Ricci Harnett as the lead Carlton Leach. He gives the character very human emotions and creates a likeable person who does some very bad things. It’s a hard task to pull off but he succeeds in playing the role amazingly.Terry Stone is also great as the thug Tony Tucker. He also creates this likeable villain.

That is the other clever thing about the film. There is no real overarching villain. All of the main characters are nasty pieces of work but as with real people they have their nice sides. Gilbey creates a perfect balance of showing both sides to these people and really helps make them feel 3-dimensional.

Everything about this film feels right, the story, the script, the acting, the production design, the direction. All of it comes together to create a film that surprised me, possibly more so than any other film I’ve watched. 8/10

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