Today: June 18, 2024
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Deviation

Nurse Amber (Hellboy 2: The Golden Army’s Anna Walton) is heading home to her family for a well-earned rest after finishing her shift when she’s carjacked and taken hostage by dangerous escaped convict Frankie (National Treasure Danny Dyer).

Nurse Amber (Hellboy 2: The Golden Army’s Anna
Walton) is heading home to her family for a well-earned rest after finishing
her shift when she’s carjacked and taken hostage by dangerous escaped convict
Frankie (National Treasure Danny Dyer).
On the run after
staging a bloody prison break, Frankie’s planning to leave the country and just
need’s Amber’s help until morning when he plans to get on a plane and fly to
Europe. All Amber has to do is
behave and he’ll release her unharmed.
So he says. But Frankie’s a
violent psychopath with a hair-trigger temper and he’s not in the mood to be
messed about. Amber’s in for the
longest night of her life…

Just
imagine if they tried to remake The
Hitcher
. Tough, isn’t it? It’s such a good film, one of the best
horror/thrillers of the ‘80s; a dark, disturbing thrill-ride, precision-tooled
to scare the bejesus out of you.
You’d need to be crazy to try and remake it. Then imagine they went and replaced creepy Dutch nutbag Rutger Hauer with some English actor,
somebody like Sean Bean. Wait a second…What? What do you mean they did that? They
remade
The Hitcher with Sean
Bean? Were they out of their tiny
minds?
The answer is yes, they
probably were. But at least they
didn’t decide to set it in London.
Which is what JK Amalou has
essentially done with Deviation,
casting Danny Dyer in the creepy
nutbag role and Anna Walton as his
hostage, the poshest nurse in the world.

15
years ago Amalou wrote and directed the risible Mockney gangster movie Hard Men in which half the cast of London’s Burning and Dodger from Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest swear
uncreatively at each other while gangland tour guide ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser looks
confused, like an elderly man trying to remember if he’s soiled himself that day. I don’t know what Amalou’s been doing
since but it certainly hasn’t involved honing his craft.

Deviation is bad. It’s not Sex And The City 2 bad. It’s not so bad it will offend the very
core of your being. It’s
just…bad. A mediocre piece of bland
filmmaking. The action is
repetitive. Frankie threatens
Amber, Amber tries to escape, Frankie catches Amber and kills whichever random
passerby is attempting to aid her.
Gargle, rinse, repeat. The
film is visually boring, opening with an incredibly long scene where the camera
floats along behind Amber as she has two separate conversations on her mobile
phone. Seriously. This is supposed to be a tense, urban,
psycho thriller and opens with a posh lass on the phone for five minutes.

The
two central performances are adequate without being good while the rest of the
cast are introduced simply to pad out the running time and give Dyer someone to
kill at regular intervals. Marmite actor Danny Dyer (you either love him or
hate him) does his best, providing what little enjoyment there is to be had
from the film (a scene between him and a sycophantic fan of Frankie’s a
particular stand-out), and there is real chemistry between him and co-star Anna
Walton but neither are served by a terrible script that defies sense or reason
(just why does Frankie bother keeping Anna alive?) forcing Dyer’s performance
to lurch from twitchy psycho, to Cockney hard man, to sympathetic bullied
child-man and back again, like a demented cross between Sexy Beast’s terrifying Don Logan and Lenny from Of Mice And Men, while Walton spends
most of the film being a bit wet before a last-minute telegraphed twist. Both actors deserve better than this.

Plodding
and po-faced, Deviation isn’t a
film. It’s an experiment in time
dilation.

David Watson

David Watson is a screenwriter, journalist and 'manny' who, depending on time of day and alcohol intake could be described as a likeable misanthrope or a carnaptious bampot. He loves about 96% of you but there's at least 4% he'd definitely eat in the event of a plane crash. Email: david.watson@filmjuice.com

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