Today: April 19, 2024

I Against I DVD

So here we are again, back in the morally ambiguous landscape of London’s underworld. Gangsters, marks, hit-men and birds. Bored yet? Don’t worry, this won’t take long.

So here we are again, back in the morally ambiguous landscape of
London’s underworld. Gangsters, marks, hit-men and birds. Bored yet? Don’t
worry, this won’t take long.

At the opening of
I Against I, a short, mildly ambitious but ultimately flawed flick, two
men walk away from a murder scene. They exchange a glance, and it’s unclear if
they know each other. In the building behind them an old man lies dead.

Turns out he’s
Tommy Carmichael, head of a crime family, and his son, Tommy, seems mighty
miffed at having to step up in such an untimely fashion. One of the men, a
charmless, gormless ducker-and-diver called Ian, is identified and dragged in
for a confession.

Ian is pretty
adamant that he didn’t do the dirty deed and is given 12 hours to find the
other guy and make sure he never eats another breakfast.

What follows is a
nocturnal slither across London’s nighttime economy, as Ian plays hide-and-seek
with his adversary, a shaky post-traumatic-stress-disorder sufferer called
Isaac.

Dopey Ian and
trembling Isaac drive around a lot, and mope about in pubs and caffs, tracing
each other’s movements by means of identical devices. Where did they get them?
That particular thrill is left to the film’s twist, which plays out in a
seemingly endless succession of double-crosses and more Mexican stand-offs than
a fiesta full of heavily-armed Central American gun runners.

So an interesting
premise is let down by a couple of small things, namely the script and the
cast.

I Against I may
have been better served had it been Danish or French, so one could sit back and
wallow in the half-light cinematography and didn’t have to suffer the sub-par
dialogue that fails to raise the film above the credibility parapet.

The cast struggle
manfully on — Mark Womack, so good in Ken Loach’s home-from-Iraq drama
Route Irish, can’t lift Tommy above generic menace. As for the two main
protagonists, Kenny Doughty, as Ian, has the look of a man who could
sell a lot of shaving cream and the chops of a man who’s done a bit of
Coronation Street; Ingvar Eggaert Sigurdsson, as Isaac, mumbles his way
through things and never convinces as the steely killer we’re expected to
believe he is.

The three people
Mark Cripps, David Ellison, James Marquand (son of the man
who directed Return of the Jedi, fact fans) — with co-director credits
cite films like Point Break, Le Samurai and the exciting new wave
of Asian Noir as their key influences in putting it together.

But this isn’t so
much hard boiled, more a curate’s egg. Good in parts but a modest thriller
with, frankly, much to be modest about.

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