movie film review | chris tookey

Ill Manors

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  Ill Manors Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
5.91 /10
Riz Ahmed, Ed Skrein, Natalie Press
Full Cast >

Directed by: Ben Drew
Written by: Ben Drew

Released: 2012
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: UK
Colour: C
Length: 116

Ben Drew, alias rapper Plan B (pictured), somehow got BBC funding for Ill Manors, his writing and directing debut, even though the script is a mess and the dialogue largely consists of the f- and c-words.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Did someone at the Beeb really think this rubbish was transmittable?

Ill Manors is a British gangster film that purports to take the lid off David Cameron’s broken Britain. Had it lived up to that purpose, it might have been illuminating.

Instead, it’s a tour of the hoariest (and whoriest) cliches from other movies about the British underclass, and feels like six bad, short films stuck together in no particular order, to make one unbearably long one.

It gives a disorganised, episodic, relentlessly miserabilist account of criminals, crackheads and prostitutes behaving badly near the Olympic village, which I suppose is meant to give it an air of topicality.

Now and again, the film grinds to a halt while Mr B pontificates in rap about what’s happening. The message of these bits can be summarised as “Look, this is real life, innit”.

To which the only possible answer is “no, this is a pathetic parade of British gangster cliches cobbled together with no discernible artistry or point”.

There are numerous references to Scorsese’s far superior Mean Streets and Taxi Driver - horribly ill-advised, as the quality never rises above the worst ever episode of EastEnders.

Dexter Fletcher’s Wild Bill, earlier this year, was a reminder that the British gangster genre still has life in it; but that was fresh, funny and ingenious.

Ill Manors is poorly made and self-indulgently long at nearly two hours. Its sense of hectoring self-importance is deeply alienating and, frankly, ill-mannered. Plan B’s film is so awful he should now be contemplating Plan C.

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