The Business tells the tale of a small time wannabe gangster Frankie (Danny Dyer) in the eighties who goes to Spain and hooks up with some bigger (and nastier) gangsters. It's not the most inspiring premise, but it was made (what seems like) long enough ago when Danny Dyer could actually carry a film on his own.
Nowadays it seems like the words `Danny' and `Dyer' means a box office turkey in move-going terms, but The Business is an early exception to the now goes-without-saying Dye rule.
The glitzy, sunny Spanish sets, combined with the horrible characters Dyer has to converse with (yes, even more horrible than Dyer himself) and the thumping eighties soundtrack, actually make The Business an enjoyable little British gangster flick. It may not be Goodfellas, but it has a few `Joe Pesci' moments along the way which will leave you squirming. It may also not be up to the standard of Lock Stock and Snatch, but if you're looking for some hard-nosed entertainment for an hour and a half, you could probably do worse (such as Danny Dyer's more recent films!).
The Business is one of those capers where a couple of the characters are middling-to-awful and the rest are just plain awful. Into the former category come only two players, really: Frankie, played by Danny Dyer, and Charlie, played by Tamer Hassan. The tone is quite tongue-in-cheek, set up by a voice-over by Frankie. I can never follow these kind of dramas properly so it is an advantage to see it on DVD where you can replay key sections. The plot is quite well handled, but the best things are Charlie's woeful decline and delusion, which do seem real, and almost poignant, had he not been callous about the deaths of some Moroccan youths earlier in the film. Not that it draws attention to this, but he was one of the key figures responsible for their deaths as they transported drugs by boat to Spain.
The other asset is Frankie, a rude boy played as cocky but a bit vulnerable too, whose expressions get both these aspects. He seems more personable than he should, as if the whole escapade was more a gross error in judgement than anything, which is probably a factor in real life, often. The music is very good - plenty of Blondie and other hits of the time - and the Costa del Sol location helps, as do the 80s clothes. Frankie exudes a kind of sexiness as he struts around in 80s shorts trying to be what he isn't really, but there seems to be no going back.
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 21 January 2006
On seeing this film i was expecting another Lock stock.... knock off but how wrong i was.Sure there are planty of Brit gangster cliche's like flashy suits,big guns and plenty of swearing but that aside this tale of cockney wide boys "livin' it large" in picturesque and sunny climates is pretty good.
Danny Dyer plays the lead character with enough boyish charm to carry it all off with aplomb amongst all the effing and blinding and tough cockney characters (and i'm only talking about the women ! serioulsly !).
There is a pulsating eighties soundtrack which i guess is a bit too much at times but brings back memories of Duran Duran,Lacoste T-shirts and brightly coloured shell suits.
The plot is wrapped up in a satisfying ending and at the end of an hour and a half of drugs,money,guns,girls,flash cars,flash boats,double and triple crosses,duran duran records and plenty of effing and blinding i was left well satisfied.
Not the greatest Brit gangster flick but certainly well above some of the post Lock Stock/Snatch efforts.
on 3 December 2007
I wouldn't normally go out of my way to watch a film like The Business. However, I bought a copy and have to say - I really did enjoy it. This movie isn't for everyone, and if you don't like your filmic subject matter to contain elements from the 'grimier side of life' - you're going to probably hate it. But, beneath all of this is an entertaining story. Not a serious dramatisation of life as a gangster, but more a sort of urban fable, and for that reason shouldn't be taken too seriously, yet still offers up morality for the viewer.
The characters are believable, and engaging. Plus, the movie doesn't out-stay its welcome and moves along at a brisk pace, and doesn't get boring or preachy one bit.
It's not a classic, but it's worthy of a watch.
on 15 March 2015
Best to stick with the trailer? But you would miss so much. First-up, the Costa del Crime pairing again of Tamer Hassan with Danny Dyer, our two favourite geezers forsaking the pubs and thugs of Football Factory to become aspiring drugs barons. Danny is Frankie, fresh and young, but not innocent. Back in London, he took out Mum's vicious boyfriend with a plank and arrived in Spain with a mysterious package - "What's in the bag?" "BISCUITS". Intended recipient: Tamer's PLAYBOY, owner of the ultra-hip Charlie's bar, and king of all he surveys, but a bit too fond of 'Charlie' itself. Another Nick Love acolyte, Roland Manookian, flies in at halftime, delivering a cutely mangled performance as a smackhead loser who is more resourceful than he seems. It all plays out to a pounding 80s sound-track because WE ARE IN THE 1980s as Danny's breathless voice-over keeps reminding us. You will never want to hear Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'Welcome to the Pleasure Dome' ever again. The boys are on the up, revelling in the champagne, sunsets and roast lamb on Sundays, not to mention the unlimited local babes and grizzled gangsters' molls. The empire grows.. Dutch drug rivals (who look more like plumbers) are hastily despatched. Swarms of Moroccan orphans bringing in loads of dope across the Med, often dying in the process. But as Danny warns us: "no one was safe....NO ONE". The fly in the ointment for Frankie is Sammy, Geoff Bell's show-stealing ginger-haired thug, who dislikes the interloper's closeness to Charlie and his designs on Sammy's missus, the sultry Carly, overplayed with pouting relish by Georgina Chapman, now married to Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. It is all over-witten, cliched, derivative and dumb. It will leave you disbelieving, but not glum.
This is a quite watchable British gangster movie, but it's definitely not as good as "Sexy Beast" or even "Layer Cake". Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.
This is the story of a young wannabe gangster named Frankie (Danny Dyer), who has to flee England and go to Spain, where he joins four real, hardened criminals - handsome "Playboy Charlie" (Tamer Hassan), psychopatic Sammy (Geoff Bell) as well as two less important characters, Ronnie and Danny. Those dangerous old timers, known as the "Peckham Four", are wanted in United Kingdom and therefore took refuge in Spain and live mostly from marijuana traffic. With time Frankie becomes a full time member of the gang, which in the meantime switched to the more lucrative cocaine business... He also attracts attention of Sammy's beautiful wife Carly (Georgina Chapman), which makes his life much more interesting - but also threatens his very survival...
This is a quite classical gangster movie, about the rise and fall of a bunch of rather unsavory characters, of which the vilest and the most dangerous is certainly Sammy, a complete psychopath who is quite a fascinating person to watch, as long as he stays safely on the other side of the screen... As promised on the cover the language is particularly strong, even for a gangster movie - on another hand if you expect shootouts like in "Scarface" or "Heat", well, you will be very disappointed...
It is not a bad film, to the contrary, I rather liked it, but other than a couple of real gags and some absolutely surrealistic and irresistible conversations it is nothing special. However the MUSIC in this film is absolutely PHENOMENAL - it is one of the best nostalgia trips into 80s I ever heard on the screen. Just to name some of the artists whose music we can enjoy here - Duran Duran, Blondie, Simple Minds, David Bowie, Talk Talk and of course Frankie Goes to Hollywood...
Bottom line, this is a very honest watch albeit not really something extraordinary. I will keep my DVD and maybe one day I will see it again. Enjoy!
on 18 August 2006
This is a pacy, tongue-in-cheek ganster movie set on the Costa del Crime in the 1980s. It tells the story of Frankie (Danny Dyer) who hooks up with two experienced South London crims (Charlie and Sammy) and becomes Charlie's right hand man (but Sammy's enemy). The story line tracks the rise of their criminal empire and subsequent dramatic fall. In that sense although there is an element of "glamour" in the look of the film, it cannot fairly be said to glamourise a life of crime.
One of the best things about this film is the cinematography. A lot of thought has gone into the sets and the "feel" of the film, and the detail with some of the 1980s sports fashion on display is pretty impressive (if amusing). One of the worst things about the film is the dialogue. The hackneyed "sarf Lundun" one liners start off by being amusing but end up getting on your nerves and spoiling the film. I'm not 100% convinced the script writers intended the dialogue to be as hilarious as it sounds.
The characters are well acted and believable. Particularly noteworthy, for me, was Geoff Bell as Sammy. He is utterly convincing as a total nutcase. Its also worth checking out the "alternative ending" provided on the DVD, which I thought was better than the "real" ending.
Coupled with a feel-good and authentic 1980s soundtrack this is pleasant, amusing, viewing - although its certainly no masterpiece.
on 24 May 2011
There's a switch in the Danny Dyer character about halfway into this that I just don't buy. He becomes well ard. Or he acts like it, just like he does in almost all the other films he does. It kinda worked in the Football Factory...that's just the way he was and he liked being a hooligan, and at least that film had the guts to stick to its beliefs at the end and not show him changing like a butterfly into a totally different personality...but in The Business he does change and it annoys me. I mean, he's scared of the psycho character for the first half of the film, and I don't believe that he would stop being scared of that guy. Why? He hasn't killed anyone up to that point [I think], so he should be scared of a guy who kills without blinking...
In fact, I think Dyer does some of his best ever acting in the first half of this. He shows a bit of range, and I wish a better director would get hold of him and give him a layered character to play with.
Tamar Hussein gets a better deal. He doesn't really go nuts on anyone, but there's latent menace in him, and it's pretty funny at the end where he tries to sell Dyer to those bored housewives for a grand.
It's hard to hate this film as it's watchable, and I haven't seen many crime films in Spanish locations before, and set in the 80s...it works pretty well.
on 8 December 2014
The Business is director Nick Love's on going love letter to the 1980s, and around that is a story of East London crooks living it large on the coast of Spain. Expect gratuitous violence, swearing all the time and dashes of humour- some side splittingly funny.
Tamer Hassan plays the guy with the know it all attitude, slick, rich but smooth and he takes Danny Dyer's character under his wing and teaches him the ropes. The Business succeeds as possibly Love's best film in that we have a movie that tells us a story from riches to rags and does it seamlessly well. Hilarious in moments, and with a real jest of characters- it is easy to notice that all had fun whilst making this movie.
Geoff Bell is outstanding and Georgina Chapman is whoa!!!! Oh and the film is laced with a killer 80s soundtrack to boot.