movie film review | chris tookey


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  Millions Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
7.13 /10
Damian: Alex Etel , Anthony: Lewis McGibbon
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Directed by: Danny Boyle
Written by: Frank Cottrell Boyce

Released: 2005
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: UK/ US
Colour: C
Length: 97

A family film thatís a mess, but full of charm, invention and funny ideas.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Itís about two young Mancunian brothers of 7 and 9, appealingly played by Alex Etel (pictured left) and Lewis McGibbon (right), who come by a couple of hundred thousand pounds in a bag that literally falls out of the sky. The comedy arises from their attempts to spend it or launder it in the last few days leading up to the UKís abandonment of the pound and adoption of the Euro.
(Yes, weíre talking fantasy here.)

The younger, frecklier and more religious of the two children sees dead people, in the form of saints heís read about (these include Alun Armstrong, who turns up as an improbably Geordie Saint Peter).

The child also encounters a sinner (Christopher Fulford), one of the robbers whose money they have found. One of the filmís biggest problems is that the robbersí actions arenít believable, and Fulfordís menace seems to have been toned down to earn a child-friendly certificate (even so, it warrants a 12A, and might give small children nightmares).

Director Danny Boyleí previous output has included such distinctly non-family films as Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and the zombie flick 28 Days Later. Here, he starts off with enormous drive and confidence, as though trying to do a child-friendly version of Amelie, though he finds this style impossible to sustain.

The normally dour writer Frank Cottrell Boyce (Hilary and Jackie, Welcome to Sarajevo) mixes in some enjoyably offbeat comments on modern living. Heís especially funny about the skewed priorities and apologetic uselessness of our present-day police.

The film preaches a message of charity towards the third world, but at other times looks suspiciously materialistic and acquisitive. Its confusion is thoroughly Blairite, and thatís not meant as a compliment.

Millions isnít fast-moving or exciting enough to appeal to children, and the adults who would most appreciate its mixture of hard-edged cynicism and feelgood soppiness wonít pay to see a film thatís so obviously designed to be wish-fulfilment for the young. Much of Millions is fresh and endearingly quirky, and part of me would love it to be a hit. But I donít believe in miracles.

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