DVD Review: Mob Rules

One of the biggest problems with the success Guy Ritchie has earned is that every time you find yourself watching a British crime film you can’t help but draw comparisons. Luckily Mob Rules (or Tic as it was originally and more appropriately titled) is different enough from anything Ritchie has done that you quickly forget his films and quickly get wrapped up in the characters presented here.

Anton (Treva Etienne) and Tyrone (Gary McDonald) are best friends and partners in crime who can just as easily quote Shakespeare as they can Guns N’ Roses. Fed up with the pay offs they find they decide to head to the States to find their fortune. Or at least that’s what Anton tells Tyrone, when actually Anton has much personal reasons for crossing the Atlantic. Anton’s brother, Reggie, was killed ten years ago in a robbery gone wrong. Reggie’s partner, C-Note (Lennie James), took all the money and ran and made a name for himself in Los Angeles. Anton wants to go overseas and settle the score in the name of familial revenge.

It’s a simple enough story and without compelling characters and writing could easily be a completely forgettable film. Luckily writer/director Keith Parmer has crafted some fascinating characters and filled them with great actors who each bring their character to life.

Mob Rules is a slow building film that opens with a classic Mexican stand off between Anton, Tyrone and several other characters and flashes back to show how they found themselves in such a situation. Through flashback we are given everything we need to know about the lead characters but not everything as the way C-Note saw the events and the way Anton saw the events are surprisingly different.

It’s not a perfect film, moments of the film move kind of slow and at times some of the actors accents may be a little hard to understand. Not all the characters in the film are as engaging as the leads. There is a twitchy cokehead who gets very annoying very quickly, but, despite his annoying qualities, he too proves important to the final stand off.

Parmer has created an interesting and engaging crime story. While it may not be the most original story you’ve ever seen, it is certainly entertaining and worth checking out.

Mob Rules is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound with English and Spanish subtitles. This is a pretty good looking film and the transfer is fine.

As far as extras go, we got Cast and Crew Interviews: (16 min.) These are some pretty good interviews with the writer/director Keith Parmer as well as the core cast. Also included is a “You Turn” Music Video as well as the Trailer and Trailer Gallery.

Mob Rules is a fine mob story with interesting and well-developed characters. It’s not the most action packed film, but if you’re looking for an entertaining story with solid acting it is absolutely worth your time.

Lionsgate presents Mob Rules. Written and directed by Keith Parmer. Starring: Lennie James, Treva Etienne, Gary McDonald, Tina Casciani, Howard Antony and Daniele Favilli. Running time: 97 minutes. Rated R for violence, pervasive language, drug content and some sexuality and nudity. Released on DVD: May 17, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.