Film Review: Plastic


Purportedly based on a real story, there are many things in Plastic which are anything but believable.

Sam and his friends are university students who moonlight as credit card fraudsters. When the group mess with the wrong target, they are forced to make a large amount of money to save themselves…

Julian Gilbey’s Plastic seemingly intends to be a glamourous caper with banter, girls and violence. Unfortunately, there are a number of issues with the film that hinder the audience’s enjoyment.

Foreshadowing in Plastic is heavy, leaving little suspense later in the film. Dialogue can be unconvincing at times, with exposition obvious on occasion. Attempts at humour are not that successful.

The end result in Plastic is not incomprehensible. However it is the chain of events that lets the film down. There are moments when the characters’ actions or plot developments seem ridiculous. The motive for Frankie’s involvement, for example, does not ring true. There would be no reason she would need to raise funds for the reason given in contemporary Britain. It is made all the more implausible by the fact that she eagerly jets away when there is not a reason for her to go.

Another problem with the film is that none of the characters are likeable. It is difficult to root for any of them, or to engender enough energy to dislike them. When Yatesey is meant to charm, and this happens on a few occasions, this charisma is not translated to the audience. This could be down to the miscasting of Alfie Allen in this role. Ed Speelers fares slightly better.

Plastic offers a level of gratuity that is made all the more overt by the use of slow motion. Towards the end of the film, there is a gregariously violent sequence which exhibits a commendable sense of energy with its outrageousness.

Plastic never bores its viewers, but its plotting ensues that it is too silly to be genuinely enjoyable as a crime caper.

Film Review: A Lonely Place to Die

A Lonely Place to Die offers viewers an interesting enough premise, but unfortunately the execution lets the film down.

A group of five mountaineers are climbing in the isolated Scottish Highlands when they hear someone calling out. Trying to ascertain where the sound is coming from, the group discover a young girl imprisoned in a small chamber in the ground. The girl speaks no English, so cannot explain what has happened to her. The group decide to take her back to safety, but the girl’s kidnappers are in hot pursuit…

Directed by Julian Gilbey, who co-wrote the script with Will Gilbey, A Lonely Place to Die is a modest-budget thriller. The film takes place in the Scottish Highlands and surrounding areas; it seems far removed from any metropolitan influence. Although the terrain is suitably isolated, more could have been made of the eeriness of the landscape.

There are some moments of tension in A Lonely Place to Die, but these diminish as the film becomes more and more implausible. The beginning of the film is quite promising, and the scene where the girl is found is well constructed. Nevertheless, the film does not sustain apprehension as it progresses, and is a bit of a sorry state by the time the climax is reached.

The dialogue is risible, despite a little bit of amusing banter. More harmful than this, however, is the complete lack of character development. None of the five climbers exhibit any kind of personality. The film does not make clear how they know each other, and the nature of their relationship (besides the married couple). There is no explanation of Alison’s accent either. The film does not begin in the midst of the action; there is an opening sequence where some of the group are climbing. Despite this opportunity to develop the main characters, the script does not explore the protagonists at all. Thus, it is difficult for viewers to get too involved with their later peril.

Performances in the film are mixed. Ed Speleers is the best of the bunch as climber Ed. Melissa George is patchy as Alison; at times the actress overdoes it. Eamonn Walker and Sean Harris have little choice but to play up to their one-dimensional stereotypes.

The camera work in A Lonely Place to Die is dizzying to the point of discomfort at the beginning of the film. The music can also be overbearing, at times it seems that the director is trying to force tension with these tricks. With tighter direction and a more convincing script A Lonely Place to Die could have been a decent film. Sadly it isn’t.