Film Review: Second Coming

Second Coming

Debbie Tucker Green’s directorial debut Second Coming has promises of a decent kitchen sink drama, but fails to deliver in any satisfying way.

Jax lives with her husband Mark and their son JJ in London. When Jax discovers that she is pregnant, she ponders over what decision she should take…

Writer-director Debbie Tucker Green appears on first glance to have made a kitchen sink drama with Second Coming. On further inspection, the film is preoccupied with a particular theme. The main problem with Second Coming is that the family drama aspect is not compelling, and the more allegorical elements of the film are haphazard. The result is a film that jars.

Second Coming‘s narrative plods along for much of the duration. The character development is not smooth. The initial build up of family life works fine, although Tucker Green’s languid directorial style may make viewers itch for better pacing. Incidents that occur much later in the film are a sharp departure.

Tucker Green’s film is a mixture of realist family drama and abstract symbolism. At times, allegory is overstated in Second Coming, particularly at the very end of the film. Nevertheless, any allusion to an unstable mind is underplayed. Tucker Green combines two quite disparate ideas in a way that does not fully mesh together.

When Second Coming shifts its focus to son JJ, it provides some of its most charming scenes. The most interesting character in the film; the audience is often positioned with the young boy. The use of soundtrack in the film can be grating; switching from overpowering to non-existent. Idris Elba offers a strong performance as Mark. Kai Francis Lewis is promising as JJ, while Nadine Marshall is laboured with the disagreeable protagonist.

Second Coming could have been a thought-provoking contemporary tale, but the ideas present do not compliment each other. A disappointing viewing experience.

Second Coming was screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2014.

London Film Festival 2014 – Preview of Coming Attractions

Second Coming

The full programme for the BFI London Film Festival 2014 was announced today, and it is brimming with fascinating artifacts. A total of 245 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, are being screening during the twelve day festival, as well as 148 shorts. Opening the London Film Festival 2014 is The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. The festival closes with David Ayer’s Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. The BFI London Film Festival 2014 runs from 8th-19th October. Here are my picks from the programme…

Men, Women & Children

Following the success of Young Adult and Labor Day, Jason Reitman’s latest film is an adaptation Chad Kultgen’s novel. Focusing on emotional isolation in the digital age, Men, Women & Children features an ensemble cast that includes Jennofer Garner, Adam Sandler and Judy Greer. 

Second Coming

Second Coming is Debbie Tucker Green’s directorial debut. The British drama stars Nadine Marshall and Idris Elba as a London-based couple living with their teenage son. Second Coming is one of the film’s shortlisted for the London Film Festival 2014’s First Feature Competition.



Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash is about the relationship between a musical prodigy and his teacher. Starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, the film won the Grend Jury and Audience awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Dear White People

Writer-director Justin Simien’s Dear White People is a satire which tackles the issue of race in contemporary America. Set at an Ivy League college, the film concerns a sole-black fraternity which is to be diversified.

White God

A film about a dog. When young Lili goes to stay with her dad, he is not interested in looking after her pet dog Hagen. Deciding to leave the dog at the side of the road, this sets off a eye-opening series of events in director Kornél Mundruczó’s White Dog.

Tickets for the BFI London Film Festival 2014 go on sale to the public on Thursday 18th September 2014. For the full schedule, and details of events, see here.