Question: What do you get when you take a Guy Ritchie type crime story with the pacing of a Jim Jarmusch film and have it directed by Kevin Smith?
Answer: You a get film about a bunch of criminal Brits who sit around the house talking about stuff.
However, despite the talent of the influence and the quote on the DVD cover proclaiming the film to be “profanely funny,” Down Terrace is a boring blunder that fails almost every step of the way.
What little story there is centers around father and son criminals, Bill and Karl, played by real life father and son Robert and Robin Hill. They have both just gotten out of prison and want to find out who ratted them out. So they, along with some fellow criminal friends sit around the house doing drugs and talking… a lot. Things get tense between Bill and Karl when Valda (Kerry Peacock), Karl’s old flame, shows up and is pregnant with his baby. Karl is happy about it, Bill is not. They argue about that for a bit, then a bunch of characters get killed, they do some more drugs and more people die.
The acting in the film is solid across the board. Particularly, Robert and Robin Hill are really good. However outside that, there isn’t much nice to be said about the film. There isn’t much story and very little character development. And what development there is isn’t very interesting. It does have a really solid soundtrack, I can give it that.
Down Terrace is competently shot and edited and is presented like a solid independent film, sadly there really is nothing to draw you into the drama of these characters. And while the film tries to bill itself as a dark comedy or something like that, there really is nothing in the film worth laughing at. As a drama it’s a passable film, as a comedy it’s down right horrendous. Either way, it brings nothing new or interesting to the genre.
Down Terrace is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen and the sound is in Dolby Digital 4.1 and 2.0 surround. The transfer looks fine, but this is one of those films where all the white is really blown out and that is kind of annoying.
Audio Commentary: This commentary with director Ben Wheatley and actor Robin Hill is just as dull as the film.
Acting Screen Test: (1 min.) Robin and Robert Hill rehearsing a scene.
Like Father Like Son Camera Tests: (4 min.) More rehearsal footage.
Extended Scene: (10 min.) As if there weren’t enough scenes of people sitting around talking in this film.
Deleted Scene: (6 min.) Robert Hill found a frog so they tried to improve a scene with it. Obviously it didn’t work.
Trick of The Amazing Wizards!!!: (8 min.) The whole film had been this it would have been 100% better.
Rob Loves Kerry: (10 min.) Wow, this is even more pointless than the the feature film. At least it’s only 10 minutes. It’s a very poorly edited, a total mess.
Down Terrace was so boring that I fell asleep half way through the first time and had to give it another go the next day. It turns out I’d slept through like three killings. It doesn’t matter if you like crime dramas, or comedies or dark comedies, this film brings nothing new or interesting to the table. If you want a good British crime film you’re better off checking out something like Gangster No. 1.
Magnet Releasing presents Down Terrace. Directed by Ben Wheatley. Written by Robin Hill and Ben Wheatley. Starring Robert Hill and Robin Hill. Running time: 93 minutes. Rated R for violence, pervasive language and some drug use. Released on DVD: January 18, 2011.
Tags: british, crime, Drama