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18
3.9 out of 5 stars
Le Donk [DVD]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Being a keen supporter of both Meadows and Considine's previous collaborations, as well as being a Spinal Tap obsessive, this film, on paper at least, sounded tailor made for me.

Alas, one viewing later, I fear that this is in fact a bit of a mixed bag.

On the plus side, Donk, as a central character seems a likeable but deeply flawed anti-hero, imbued with enough pathos and comedic potential by Considine to get you initially on side within the opening scenes.

Heavy weight Midlands rapper, Scor-Zay-Zee is similarly well painted and proves to be the most enjoyable character throughout the film.

However, the scene where Donk berates 2 women during the hotel room rehearsal, is just not funny and feels quite laboured - improv comedy at it's worst and when Donk comes back into the room to apologise, I reached for the remote to fast forward, overcome as I was by cringing.

Also, Olivia Colman's portrayal as Donk's ex-girlfriend didn't seem to ring true and if that's a new born baby in the latter half of the film, then I'm a dutchman.

All that said, the film's saving grace is the live footage of our hapless hero's opening up for the Arctic Monkeys.

That said, I did feel short changed and was left feeling I'd invested in a high budget home video of Shane and Paddy mucking about.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 February 2014
It can, of course, be quite frustrating when one of your favourites film-makers has something of a lull in their careers, and whilst Shane Meadows has not been 'resting on his laurels' as such (the This Is England TV spin-offs being great stuff, as is his little gem of a film Somers Town), it is now 8 years since his last 'full feature', 2006's This Is England. This music 'mockumentary' also does not really do it for me. For a start, it is treading an already well-worn path, following in the wake of the likes of the Comic Strip's Bad News (and More Bad News) and Spinal Tap, and even though it has its (funny) moments (plus a typically superb Meadows soundtrack), for me, it comes across as insubstantial (unlike the similarly 'slight' Somers Town which mixes humour and pathos to greater effect, as well as containing another great Thomas Turgoose performance).

Here, Meadows creates a 'documentary within a mockumentary' (if you like), where Meadows himself (equipped with hand-held camera) is seen shooting Paddy Considine's Le Donk, an 'aspiring' roadie, whose life is split between his now pregnant ex-, Olivia (another nice turn by Olivia Colman - who was to lead in Considine's own film, the brilliant Tyrannosaur) and 'up-and-coming' (obese) white rapper Dean Palinczuk's Scor-Zay-Zee - who is due to 'play support' at an Arctic Monkeys gig at Old Trafford cricket ground. Don't get me wrong, Meadows' film does have its moments - the comedy between Le Donk and his 'protegée' (Palinczuk is very good in this dead-pan role) is often very amusing (as Le Donk quips, 'Don't be fooled by the "tell him about the honey, mummy" exterior'). Similarly, the 'serious' passages between Considine's Le Donk and Colman's ex- are touching and do build some tension - of course, Considine in never less than highly watchable. Overall, though, it is not (funny) enough to sustain my enthusiasm (even for its relatively short running time of just over 70 minutes).

On a more positive note, though, Meadows' soundtrack (though relatively sparse) is, again, great, with the highlight for me being songwriter (and regular Meadows collaborator) Gavin Clarke's rendition of his song The Years Have Loved Us. This is a truly heart-rending rendition (and sequence), confirming Meadows' position as one of cinema's greatest 'music casters' and Clarke as one of Britain's greatest 'undiscovered' songwriting talents. I would merely encourage Meadows to retain Clarke as composer and say 'Roll on the next major work, Shane!'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2009
I saw this at the cinema and it was hilarious. Paddy Considine is genius, he's such a funny guy - he made it up as he went along and he's brilliant. Very Spinal Tap. And of course you can't go wrong with Shane Meadows...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2010
I love everything Meadows and Considine do and found this to be extremely funny, if you don't get the Spinal Tap kind of 'subtlety' then this might fly over your head BUT if you love this kind of adlib humour and the great one-liners it produces, then this is a must see. We sat and laughed at it all the way through, Le Donk's insights about his estranged partner's newly born son are magical "I can watch him growing up via the web, like having a cyber-pet"
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2009
I think this is Shane's best film to date. It may be lower budget than This is England but it packs in so many laughs and one of greatest end scenes ever. Reminds me of British Napolean Dynamite.
Paddy Considine is fantastic as Donk but for me the rapper Scorz steels the show.
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on 8 May 2011
I have to admit that I purchased this video just because I like the Shane Meadows and Paddy Considine collabrations. After about 30 minutes into Le Donk, you can see that it was an idea that sounded good after a few drinks but sadly desends into a first time student film. I really like Shane Meadows style of directing and that is still visable in this film but the humour runs dry and I found myself thinking Paddy Considine is labouring way to hard to keep the script going.

Although there are a few scenes which made me laugh especially the scene when Le Donk goes to visit his ex-girlfriend played by Olivia Coleman.

I would only buy this if you are a die hard Shane Meadows fan and you want to own every film he has ever directed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2010
For Shane Meadows this is not one of his best but it is still worth buying as it is quite funny, and Paddy Considine is always worth checking out.
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on 10 February 2012
I really wanted to love this movie, and it did have its moments, but it's not worth owning. It reminded me of Steve Coogan in Saxondale but not quite as funny. Would have made a nice short film but it's not a movie. Still love Shane Meadows but could have done without ever seeing this. 3 stars for effort - I like the idea and I liked the rawness of the footage - but probably a 2 for achievement. Sorry Shane.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2009
Filmed mockumentary-style by the consistently good but never quite awesome Shane Meadows, this is the flimsy tale of an East Midlands roadie, Le Donk, and his lardy rapping bud, Scor-zay-zee, as they take a very short road trip, work with "The Arctical Monkeys", strive to realise a long-held dream and, for Le Donk, fail to deal with his ex-girlfriend moving on.

The film perches somewhere on the same comedy ladder as This Is Spinal Tap and TV's 'The Office', but remains several rungs below both. Le Donk, played by the always excellent Paddy Considine, is an almost David Brent-esque berk who loves the attention of having a camera crew follow him around, and while he shows himself up to be talentless, selfish and unlikeable, he's never quite funny enough to make us forgive his disagreeable nature.

That said, it's over in 71 minutes and has some excellent opening titles, so, you know, every cloud...
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on 27 May 2011
This film is a great laugh and was suprised how good the rapping was as well, Hilarious at the end, keep the credits at the end running Le Donk is storytelling to the Artics.
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