Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Everytime a male critic went to review Sex And The City back in 2008, he would usually preface a subsequent trashing by saying something like, "Now this film isn't meant for me, but.." and that's kind of how I feel about Shank. I know what I saw was shite, but was it shite because it was straight up shite, or simply because it has nothing I look for when I go to the movies but for its targeted Chav generation, it might appeal.

But fuck it, I refuse to engage in complex apologetics for a film I didn't remotely like. I respect that the chav folk get a bad rep in the movies, either devils dressed in hoodies or profoundly stupid sight gags to point and laugh at. Shank gives them the chance to make their case, in which Kidulthood is their Goodfellas and Tony Scott is their Scorcese. Director Mo Ali certainly takes more then one leaf from the T Scott guide to over intrusive and glib visual stylization , but for the kind of movie Shank is and the level of intelligence he is operating on. I guess I can understand. Its not like the acting is going to be the draw here, nor the quality of the writing or strength of the story, a painfully simplistic revenge tale, and he had to make it distinctive in some way. I can't go much further without mentioning Skins' Kaya Scodelario's awesome accent of the street in which her innate poshness, clearly only one or two notches below Keira Knightley levels of Englishness, is too powerful to contain. My favorite thing about the movie by a long way. Otherwise its just people walking around saying 'nah mate' and freestyling for no reason. One guy does an improv beatbox less then 20 minutes after his best friend was murdered. Its crazy.

For me Shank is a bad movie. A very bad movie. It makes about as much sense as people who think Avatar is a masterpiece (none) but for all is faults, it went for something. A chav's post-apocalyptic fantasy maybe, but it showed ambition and that is to be commended. Its a shame it missed in nearly every way.

Rating: 4/10

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