24 Hours in London

Dir: Alexander Finbow
Starring: Gary Olsen, David Sonnethal, James Oliver, John Sharian

Credit to Finbow for making a low-budget, hyperviolent caper flick in Britain; just a shame Guy Ritchie got there first. And with a damn sight better acting - what sinks this is a cast who appear be reading lines off cue cards, and seem to be having some problems with the handwriting to boot. Its plot is straightforward: the cops are trying to protect a witness to a massacre perpetuated by gang lord Christian (Olsen), while an informant passes on their every move. Cue action, and lots of it - fortunately, as this is where the movie kicks butt, with inventive (if questionably authentic) gun-battles, done in a Hong Kong style that suggests Finbow has potential as an action choreographer, if not perhaps a director. I can visualise him on set, screaming "More bullet hits! Make the explosions LOUDER!" The subsidiary characters, such as near-invulnerable psycho killers Simone and Richard, are a joy to watch, rather more so than the central ones - Olsen channels Stephen Berkoff to decent effect, but the cops are one-dimensional and forgettable. It's supposedly set in 2009, but you'd never really notice, especially since a cameo by the Millennium Dome irrevocably marks this one as a product of Y2K. Low-budget, largely forgettable, and ending more with a whimper than a bang...yet this is the kind of Brit-flick whose flaws I can easily bring myself to overlook.


London's burning
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