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My father didn't believe in turning the other cheek - Alice
If there's one thing that I groove to as to the revenge subgenre is its simplicity. It usually goes a little bit like this: you f*ck me up, I f*ck you up more and there's generally a subplot jiving in there about some cop on the case or something i.e. a cut- away device. So it was with that M.O. in mind that I choked the life out of Straightheads
(titled Closure in the US) but surprise, surprise, the film deviated form the basics and became its own animal.
Straightheads (which by the way is Brit street slang to define peeps that didn’t take part in a crime); set me up real good and in a harsh and disturbing fashion at that. Once that deed done; it went on to mess with my pre conceived expectations, resulting in quite the engrossing watch. What could’ve been a one-two-three jamboree became: one- around the block- back again and then three nightmare. I respected that. Instead of taking the usual path; the flick slyly delved into the emotional damage that comes with being severely wronged and the repercussions/reactions it can have on an individual. Shit, it even went on to address the “motive” of the lead bad guy, his “excuse” if you will. That’s rare! Yup the film tapped into that gray zone as to this kind of situation and I for one relished in constantly switching sides, as our two victims “changed” their stances on what they want to do.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Gillian Anderson shows-off her luscious breasts and oh so spankable ass in the film. Wood was achieved. END OF NOTE.
Another aspect that I appreciated with this one was its lack of subplots. Narrative was a straight line through and through. We opened with these two crazy kids and then stayed with their sorry asses the whole way. The flick rarely cut away to anything else and thankfully it had the juice to pull that off. Result? I was much involved in the leads’ plight, was emotionally hooked and when vengeance came a knocking; I was gleefully muttering “f*ck yeah” under my breath. Tag to all that; powerful performances by the magnetic Gillian Anderson and the charismatic Danny Dyer, a couple of memorable brutal bits (the rifle intrusion being the stand out one – ouch!), occasional tension laced scenarios and stripped down directing that jacked the oomph of the nasty storyline and you get a ditty that whacked me where it counts.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Gillian Anderson looks sexy as f*ck on a stick when holding a sniper rifle and aiming to kill. DAMN! END OF NOTE.
On the blank side of the bullet; the flick sporadically stretched suspension of disbelief in the name of getting its plot to move forward. Yeah, I went with it anyways (I’m that guy) but it needed to be said. Furthermore; I didn’t fully buy into one of the main characters' progression from “this” to “that”. Although the flick slapped hints in there that the character was “changing”; I feel more time should’ve been spent on it. Would’ve made the arc much stronger. And should I feel ashamed to have hoped for more violence? More vengeance? I know the film was mostly about characters and that’s fine but the exploitation fan in me couldn’t help but crave further splat-splats. Finally at 88 minutes; it all ended too abruptly forthis twat. 20 more minutes would've been nice. I didn't feel like the movie was over.
By and large though; Straightheads was a breath of dead air for yours truly, even with its faults in tow. It played it down, took chances and for the most part, stayed true to itself. I'm a fan!