2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2011
This film requires a very particular frame of mind when watching it. On the one hand, Nick Love has created a fairly serious film, with serious characters and a serious plot. On the other hand, the characters and plot are pushed - intentionally or not - across the line from serious to comedy. As an action film, this is a mediocre affair, and not worth watching without a reason. As a comedy, this film is one of the best I've ever seen.
Danny Dyer has picked up the unfortunate and undeserving title of being a "Mockney"; somebody who talks with a cockney accent and walks with a bit of a swagger, but who is secretly putting it on. I do not in any way believe Dyer, or in fact the rest of the cast, are putting on any of their mannerisms; I believe they are "artistically" enhancing their natural born talents and playing up to the stereotype. The film is littered with quotes which when framed as comedy, are hilarious. This is one of the few films I have ever watched entirely with the commentary; Dyer and Love team up for an hour and a half of pure comedy, including Love's love for Dyer's nan's "Bristols" (Hint: Bristol Citys).
Certain scenes in the film further enhance the comedy. Of particular note is Tamar Hassan's introduction as the owner of the club, "Champagne Charlies", as well as Dyer and Hassan's cruise along the waterfront (serving as an introduction to the setting and the East End born'n'bred supporting characters). The film manages to exude a surprising level of quality given its significantly small budget, and only in a few scenes are the monetary constraints evident. Most of the time though, this serves to further enhance the film!
I won't go into more detail than this; the easiest way to determine whether you would like this film is to prime yourself with clips off the web of Dyer and Love giving some "banta". If you find yourself chuckling with a mild sense of superiority, then chances are this film is worth it for the laughs.
on 3 May 2015
What's not to absolutely LOVE in this classic movie about a bunch of gangsters hiding out in the South of Spain as they attempt to re-energize their continental criminal careers? I am biased on this one, really, since it is filmed in the place where I have my holiday house (Nerja, Spain) and both myself and my oldest son speak Spanish - we all love it there.
Therefore, here is my advice - if you love Spain, can't get enough of it - great stuff, this will be a 5 star movie for you all the way. If however Spain - and in particular the South of Spain - is not quite your thing - then give this one a quiet pass. :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2014
One of my all time favourite films. I've seen it several times but my daughter hadn't so I bought it so she could watch it and I could watch it again. Brilliant music throughout
on 1 November 2014
Before anyone has a pop, let me just say you KNOW what you're getting with Danny Dyer, but this is an exception to the rule. This film is brilliant throughout, coupled with the genius casting of Tamer Hassan and directed by Nick Love who also directed them in Football Factory.
Its like a British version of Scarface, with a much lower budget.......but it works! The comedy in it is sub-lime, VERY funny dialogue and a cast of familiar faces from other Brit flicks.
Fantastic soundtrack throughout.
Honestly, this is fantastic!
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2007
As somebody who actually worked out in Spain in the late 80's, I can say without a doubt that this film gets it spot on. Almost.
I suppose this film resonates with me because it was the first time I'd ever been either abroad or even on a plane. I landed at the airport and waited around for two hours to be collected by a German nutter called Ralf, who skinned up a joint immediately we got in the car and offered me a beer from the crate he had under the seat!
The characters that I came across were shallow, crude and basic; almost caricatures. The "chaps" that were on the run were invariably working class hard men who for various reasons, had to, "have it on their toes" away from Britain. They weren't exactly MENSA members. Remember also that this was a time when no extradition treaty existed between the UK and Spain, there was no EU and immigration control was virtually non-existent. There was also a huge amount of corruption, as local officials realised that they had these sort of people over a barrel and could use them to get away with all sorts of things. (The Marbella Town Hall scandal springs to mind. This goes right back to the 80's and has only come to light within the last year or two. I also have a friend who still lives out there, in a block built in 1988 and named after the bloke that financed it - with great big bundles of cash!)
To say that Sammy is not scary is just stupid; one of the scariest people I met out there was just like Sammy, even down to the curly perm but half his size! A complete psycho who enjoyed winding people up until they bit and then using this as an excuse to batter them with whatever implement came to hand. I saw more than a couple of big rugby playing, tough guy holidaymakers who didn't take him seriously, get beaten to a pulp. Right in front of everybody. There were never any witnesses though, strangely...
Picking up the points made about Georgina Chapman's character. Yes she was totally without charm or humour but getting hooked up with a psycho like Sammy could certainly make you that way! It's plainly obvious that she only cares about his money anyway, something else that I observed with many such mismatched couples out there. Remember back then also, the concept of the size zero supermodel wasn't around either!
The music in all the bars, clubs etc was a complete mish mash of stuff from all years of the 80's. It's certainly not supposed to be in year sequence in the film. This is the attitude that eventually gave rise to the Balearic scene, of just playing whatever you want to suit the mood and not caring about whether it was "cool" or not.
However, the above notwithstanding, there are a few things, that just don't ring true. For example, the main one for me, is they would never have dealt with the Dutch firm outside their own club. This would have attracted far too much attention and would have been taken care of far away from any prying eyes.
The Mayor would, in all probability, have had Sonny "taken care of" for doing what he did. The scene where they are trying out the bullet-proof vests in the quarry doesn't quite ring true either. A shotgun fired at the range shown would almost certainly have had a few pellets hitting Sammy, not just on his vest! Still hilarious though!
To compare this film to Goodfellas or The Godfather is patently ridiculous. Both films are classics of the American Mafia genre; however this is not something that this film aspires to in any way. (Especially with the miniscule budget Nick Love had.) This is a "nice little" film. As Danny Dyer's Frankie says in his voice over, "As my life got bigger, my world got smaller." This perfectly represents the coke induced paranoia that was starting to gain a foothold out there before I returned to the UK and very accurately represents the claustrophobia that happens when engaging in a life of, "crime, women and drugs," in a foreign country where you and most of your cohorts can barely even order a beer in the native tongue. You all stick together like glue and are suspicious of any outsiders.
Please just take this film for what it is: A funny, black comedy / homage to the 80's, based on a unique period in British crime history that requires, as with so many films, the willing suspension of disbelief.
And it's so obvious that the captions at the end are a wind up! I mean come on, "Frankie went to Hollywood!" "Sammy went to hell" "Carly went back to her parents in Penge" etc (Check out the Football Factory to get the Penge reference)
It's a cracking little film if you don't take it and yourselves so seriously!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2014
A great film, in typical Danny style. So if you're a fan you'll love it!! Fab soundtrack too for all those retro fans.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2006
The third feature from Nick Love is, rather predictably, a lean and colourful blast of Cockney clichés and aggression. It is his most accessible film yet. Though the dialect is still stubbornly south London, the story is a familiar one for the crime genre, with the type of English characters not really seen on the other side of the Atlantic. This sense of novelty COULD endow Love with the beginnings of a cult following in America, and that can only be a very good thing.
It is set in the Thatcher years of the 1980s and tells the story of an idealistic young Peckham lad by the name of Frankie who, after killing his abusive stepfather, scarpers to sunny Spain to deliver a bag of 'biscuits' to Charlie, a former armed robber who fled to the 'Costa Del Crime' after a robbery went wrong thanks to the trigger-happy antics of his partner Sammy. Together, the pair have started up a lucrative drug running business, fronted by Charlie's exclusive club in Malaga. After successfully dropping off the money, Frankie is taken under Charlie's wing, much to the annoyance of Sammy, and begins to sink deeper and deeper into a life of crime. Initially, the high life is every bit as glamorous as he's always believed, but then the stakes get higher, and the hours get longer, and both Frankie and Charlie begin to take too much of a liking to sampling the 'product'...
The narrative forms a typical Rise and Fall structure familiar to the genre, but Love hooks this into the greedy conservatism of the period and, as a result, the film feels more weighty and culturally aware than some of its contemporaries. There are obvious parallels with GOODFELLAS, but if anything Love goes out of his way to reverse everything one expects from a Happy-go-lucky British gangster film. There are scenes of gut-wrenching desperation in the film's relentlessly powerful final act, after the tables have been turned on the playboys, which recalls the flat-out misery Love injected his short film LOVE STORY with (a trait that had been missing from his first two features). After a clunky opening with, frankly, poor dialogue, Love's script settles into an enjoyable, pacy story with colourful characters and a don't-fuck-about attitude. However, though his visual style is terrific, his ability to get great performances unparalleled, and his choice of music bang-on, Nick Love is in need of a writing partner - someone who will tighten his story to make sure that, from beginning to end, the script is taut and consistent. For, just as the beginning feels tacked on to explain Frankie's flight, so the climax of the film hinges on a character inconsistency, which does jar somewhat, and you get the feeling that Love just wanted to wrap things up and get to his triumphant ending.
Of course, this is a minor quibble, and said triumphant ending is certainly a crowd-pleasing one. It's a testament to the fact that Love actually CREATES characters in his films.
The performances are very good. Danny Dyer excels here as Frankie, with the right amount of lariness and vulnerability that he brought to his standout role as Tommy Johnson in THE FOOTBALL FACTORY. He looks more and more like an emerging star in the making, in the Ray Winstone mould, and it's about time more directors used him properly. Charismatic, charming and unsettling, Hassan is a memorable figure, and looks to have the talent to carve quite a niche for himself.
All in all, THE BUSINESS is a top-notch film with the broadest appeal of any that Love has so far produced. Powerful, exhilarating and at times genuinely funny, with a kind of crowd-pleasing triumph about it that you just can't teach or package.
on 8 October 2014
Presumably if you are reading this review you like English gangster fiilms. Well you won't be disappointed with The Business. It starts with Danny Dyer giving his bully step dad a belting with a baseball bat. However it is not a particularly violent film unlike Dyer's great film Vendetta. Howeve it is extremely funny and beautifully filmed in the south of Spain.
on 31 May 2015
The one Danny Dyer film that is truly good I seen a few of Danny Dyers films he,s a aright actor not the best I seen a few of films and they are aright films but not that great.
The Business is the one of those rare good British gangster film I enjoyed this film very if your a fan of Danny Dyer your love this one.
on 13 November 2013
British cinema is far from dead, it is just smothered by drivel out of America. The Business is another Nick Love masterpiece which can make an otherwise dreary evening shine. Great story, acting and plot I highly recommend this film.