Dear god, whatever was I thinking of. Y’see, I had my mind set on some seriously mindless twaddle. And, I’d missed the showing of Ghost Rider, so I just chose the next thing that was on… This happened to be Thug: The Movie.

OK, I realise that Nick Love only exists to get lily-livered liberals like me all sniffy. But, c’mon, even his target audience can’t be this moronic? Plot: Unhinged, court-martialed squaddie returns from tour of duty (with suggested, but never explored, Gulf War Syndrome); gets together with bunch of disparate ‘losers’ to form a gang of vigilantes; they then badly dabble in all the conventions of the western; become near folk heroes (again only briefly touched upon); but, mainly breath heavily, bleed from the lip and rant on about cunts and nonces. Now, I like some of Michael Winner‘s films. I’m not really too ashamed to admit that – certainly not for the purposes here. But, unlike his incredibly nasty and violently right wing ‘critiques’ of a violent society, you soon realise from this that, bloody hell, these guys actually are the heroes. If the Daily Mail had a readers forum (erm, as I’ve heard certain magazines do) the script for this would’ve been their letter of the year.

Of course, I could put my reaction to this down to some sort of latent homophobia. Because, this is certainly the most homoerotic thing I’ve ever sat through. Perhaps I need counseling.

To be honest, the only reason I think this film ever saw the inside of a cinema is the presence here of a fine cast who manage to give the monosyllabic grunts at least a little shading – if not any depth or other dimension. Thug de-jour Danny Dyer does his seemed-like-such-a-nice-boy thing, with black eye for character. Thug de-yester-jour Sean Bean* does rugged, stoic, northerner for a change. With stubble. We even have Thug de-even-yesterer-jour Bob Hoskins being bald and cockney. He uses seething, spitting sweary words to convey his anger and frustration. But it’s Sean Harris‘ dweeby psycho that steals the show. Having played both Ian Brady and Ian Curtis, it seems odd that he ends up left hanging in a field in the middle of nowhere. But, then maybe that’s just the way I was thinking by that point in the film.

Of course, it’s all super-saturated colours, constantly moving camera, and that nose-bleed digital steadycam nonsense, at fit inducing levels.

A repellent waste of everyone involved’s time. and, more importantly mine. My mind is still not talking to me.

*When I first saw the opening scenes of Goldeneye I remember thinking that Bean would’ve made a far better Bond than Brosnan. But, I reckoned they’d never cast anyone with the requisite thuggishness again, nevermind a blond. Never ask me for a racing tip.


Written by Tony Kiernan

14 March 2007 at 12:44 pm

Posted in Film

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