A Day Of Violence, the 2010 effort from UK director Darren Ward, is a stale Brit gangster flick filled with stereotypical Brit gangsters played by actors that seemingly were cast out of a community theatre version of a Guy Ritchie film.
“Oi! you cunts, let’s make a fucking movie and shout a lot!”
Sorry, had to get that out of my system. The film opens with our lead Mitchell (Nick Rendell) having awful ugly sex with his lady friend to a guitar based score that’s straight out of a skinamax flick. The man looks like a (slightly) less retarded version of George ‘The Animal’ Steele and this scene is painful to watch. After this we fast forward two years to Mitchell, dead and naked in a body bag in the morgue. Fans of naked, portly British men rejoice! There is a holding shot of the body, testicles laid out in the cool morgue breeze for what seems like an eternity. This is where Mitchell’s narration takes us back to the day that led him to be in such a state, and where we meet Hopper. Hopper (Giovanni Lombardo Radice, who you will recognize from a lot of eighties Italian films like The Church, City of the Living Dead, etc. Clearly he needed the paycheck…) is a low rent drug dealer who owes money to Mitchell’s boss. When Mitchell goes to collect from Hopper, we find him relaxing in his shit hole apartment smoking a bong. This, by the way, is the most unrealistic portrayal of bong smoking I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t even pretend to make it look like he’s inhaling, but I digress… This is where the highlight of the film happens, and the absolute abuse of bad Brit gangster dialogue really amps up. The highlight of the film takes place when…. I’M ABOUT TO START SPOILING THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE…. Mitchell slits Hopper’s throat after stealing a bean bag full of money. Much more money, I might add, then he came to collect.
‘It’s in the bean bag… The FUCKING BEAN BAG!!!” Classically awful…
The throat slitting effect is well done, but unfortunately takes place within the first ten or eleven minutes of the film, so there’s not a whole lot to look forward to from this point. So, Mitchell has a bean bag filled with money, tells his boss to fuck off, and goes to work with his old pal Smitty for crime boss Boswell. Boswell is played by Victor D. Thorn, whose IMDB page reads this little bit o’ trivia: “Whilst serving in the Parachute Regiment (British) in the early seventies he was involved in a parachuting accident with a colleague which meant both of them coming down on one parachute. Fortunately both walked away uninjured.” So since he survived we get to suffer through the most irritating portrayal of a British crime boss EVER. Lucky us. Boswell is every bit the example of awful characters puked up into a screenplay and shit out onto screen. He does the whole “Oi! I’m British so have to shout EVERY FUCKING LINE OF DIALOGUE’ thing and you just hate him from the moment he steps on-screen.
So Mitchell is brought on to work for Boswell, but unbeknownst to him at the time he’s actually replacing his boy Smitty who has been skimming money from Boswell. Boswell sicks his thugs on him and we’re treated to Smitty being hung upside down, beaten and ultimately having his penis cut off. (I told you I was gonna spoil this shit…) The cock cutting effect is decent (that sounds awful) and I’m sure if you’re a guy you’ll wince for a brief second but the best part of the whole scenario is when they throw Smitty’s bloody, cockless self into the back of a truck and one of the thugs picks up his severed penis and tosses it in with him. “Don’t forget his cock!”… wow…
So this is where we find out that the money Hopper had hidden in the bean bag belonged to Boswell (shocking, I know) and who is sent to retrieve it? Mitchell of course. You know where this goes, so I’ll spare you the details. Mitchell is found out to have taken the money by way of a ridiculous action taken by Hopper before he is killed (cell phone camera… really…) and the hunt is now on. Now we already know that Mitchell is eventually killed, seeing as how they showed him in all his pasty naked glory in the morgue at the start of the film. What happens on the way to that point is just stale, poorly acted and directed, beat to death (no pun intended) nonsense. There is a shoot out in a bar towards the end of the film that is laugh out loud funny, but it’s too little too late. There’s no saving the film at that point. We’ve seen it before, done better, and it’s just not enough to warrant sitting through.
I give A Day Of Violence 1 out of 5 Screaming Jamies for the throat slitting and not much else.