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MORE ROTTEN RUBBISH FROM RETTENDON
on 16 April 2015
"Thank you for supporting the British film industry" they tell you at the beginning of the DVD. You must be joking......
There is absolutely no reason for this film to exist.
So back we go to Rettendon. Where? Wake up at the back, this is the Essex village outside Chelmsford rendered 'infamous' by the Range Rover killings of December 1995. Police discovered three corpses riddled with shot-gun bullets. Weep not. The dead were Tony Tucker, Pat Tate and Craig Rolfe, an unsavory trio, big in the Basildon area, branching out from night club security into drug running and all-round thuggery, lovingly documented here. Convicted killers were Mickey Steele and Jack Whomes, alleged rivals from the criminal fraternity, whose families still proclaim their innocence. And don't forget Darrel Nicholls , employed as a a driver on the fateful night, but who wasn't involved, later becoming a police informer, leav ing the area, changing his name etc....The events have inspired books, documentaries, conspiracy theories and some of the worst films of this century or any other.
Read the credits, fear the worst. The script comes from Stephen Reynolds, who later hit new depths with the Danny Dyer kill fest Vendetta. Directing is one Paul Tanter, of the underwhelming 'Jack' trilogy and the Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan. The heart sinks as White Collar star Nick Nevern gets us off with a sub-Dyer voieover promising grim and gritty lessons. But Nevern's acting is no worse than that of Jay Brown. Peter Barrett and Simon Phillips, awesomely bad as Tony, Pat and Craig. No surprise, the script is liberally sprinkled with the 'f and c' words, but to no great effect. It's all night club punch-ups, drugs deals gone sour, arms deals and lap-dancing. Kierston Wareing has been round the block with the Rettendon boys before and bafflingly come back for more as the love interest, forsaking Pat for Mickey, not good for team morale. Robert Cavanah, who plays Mickey, has played MacBeth in the past. His Mickey is meant to be King of North Sea drugs runs, with a little carpentry on the side, but not to be crossed.
Tanter throws in a bloody drugs heist in Amsterdam into the mix and some none-too-subtle Leah Betts references (teenager allegedly killed by too much Ecstacy). We also get a sub-David Tennant Scottish cop (were the 'filth' involved in all this?) for added interest, Ewan Ross, once a counter-terrorism expert in real life. Ross at least looks bored and embarrassed. So should everyone else. This is awful stuff.