Revolver Entertainment has blazed a trail in recent years releasing smartly marketed, classy independent British films such as Kidulthood, Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop and Shank. Unfortunately, Lee Sales’ Turnout is more reminiscent of the straight-to-DVD releases with which the company began life.
Revolver Entertainment has blazed a trail in recent years
releasing smartly marketed, classy independent British films such as Kidulthood, Banksy documentary Exit
Through the Gift Shop and Shank. Unfortunately, Lee
Sales’ Turnout is more reminiscent of the straight-to-DVD releases with which the
company began life.
Local Hoxton geezer George (played by co-writer George Russo) plans a holiday to
Barbados with his middle class girlfriend Sophie (up and coming actress Ophelia Lovibond). The trouble is George hasn’t told
Sophie that he’s got no money to pay his share of the outstanding balance on
the deposit and he decides instead to gamble her share on a drug deal. You can take the boy out of Hoxton, but
you can’t take Hoxton out of the boy.
Little does he realise that his friends are intent on snorting his
profits and that he’ll be well out of his depth getting mixed up with the local
criminal fraternity – although, of course, our hero has a life-changing
epiphany before the credits roll in which he realises the error of his ways and
what really matters in life. That
really is about it.
The biggest problem with Turnout is that George Russo plays
George as such a whiney, feckless idiot that we never really care about his
dilemma – so much so that the film might have worked better as an out-and-out
comedy where we can delight in George’s mates and assorted hoodlums making a
complete and utter tit of him. The
character is clearly caught between two worlds, with his professional middle
class girlfriend pulling him away from the world of dole queues and minor
criminality in which he lives. But
although the film makes some thematic nods towards the lads being marginalised
by the gentrification of Hoxton, it fails to capture the gut-wrenching choice
between staying true to your friends and upbringing or moving on, in the way
that similar films such as Nick Love’s Goodbye
Charlie Bright have.
Director of Photography James
Friend manages to paint Hoxton as both grimy and stylish, although perhaps
has fallen slightly short of the director’s ambition to make Turnout look like a Wong-Kar Wai film. That good work is, however, undone by
director Lee Sales’ bizarre shot
choices with swooping cranes and bird’s-eye shots just when the action least
demands it. The budget would have
been better spent on recording and mixing the soundtrack so the dialogue is
audible, although as the script’s generic geezer talk only shifts gears to move
between inane and banal, this may be no great loss.
Take away the capers and flash cinematography and the story
and characters never quite live up or do justice to the film’s hook, which is a
shame because at times it felt like it could have actually turned out into a