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Top Critic Reviews
It's pretty much inevitable that throughout each year a British working class drama will make an appearance. What's surprising about them though, it that whoever steps behind the camera, they seem to find some more mileage and deliver something different from a now tiring formula. Paddy Considine done it last year in "Tyrannosaur" and now (another) actor turned director Dexter Fletcher does it with this. "Wild" Bill Hayward (Charlie Creed-Miles) has just been released from prison. He heads back to his home where he finds that his partner has abandoned his children in his absence, leaving his 15 year old son Dean (Will Poulter) and 11 year old Jimmy (Sammy Williams) fending for themselves. When there is a threat of them being taken into care, Bill reluctantly decides to stick around but his youngest has got involved in drug dealing, dragging Bill back into the life he's been trying to avoid. I'll be honest in my judgement of this film beforehand; I was expecting another attempt at ripping off Guy Ritchie and the success of his film's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch". I'm happy to say that wasn't the case here. Sure, this film possesses a similar gritty feel and similar touches of humour but Fletcher has crafted a very personal film that has an appeal of it's own. This doesn't follow the conventions of the British crime flick but delivers a touching and heartfelt family drama. It also pays homage to the classic western in a very understated and clever way; apart from the title itself, the main character of Bill has a tattoo of a Sheriff badge on his chest; he refuses to be run out of town and stares down the local nasties - climaxing in a bar room (saloon) showdown where it becomes apparent why he has received his moniker. All the elements are here and writer/director Fletcher does well in managing them with a subtlety without losing track of the job at hand. Despite the downbeat, and sometimes threatening characters and dysfunctional family element, there is a lightness of touch to be found here and the whole cast deliver memorable shows. Ultimately though, it comes to the leading man himself; Charlie Creed-Miles. A lot of people may be unaware of this highly underrated actor's talents but he had previously delivered excellent supporting roles in Gary Oldman's directorial debut "Nil By Mouth" and Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element". Whether or not this film gets him more work remains to be seen but he's certainly deserving of it and shows impressive range here as a decent hearted father with an underlying protective ferocity. This is a film that manages to juggle several themes and moods and marks a very successful debut from Dexter Fletcher. I only hope that more of an audience get to see this little gem.
- MrMarakai, Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Genuinely heart-warming drama with a bucketload of impressive performances in what is a superb directorial debut from Dexter Fletcher.
- danieljparsons, Sunday, January 13, 2013
This directorial debut of the English actor Dexter Fletcher is the most pleasant surprise this year. The story of Bill Hayward (Charlie Creed-Miles), a prisoner of eight years out on parole, who is returning home, to find out that his wife has left and his 15 and 11 year old sons, Dean (Will Poulter) and Jimmy (Sammy Williams) were living alone - was a touching one. Not sweet touching, but bitterly touching! Dean, the older boy was managing to support his younger brother, but Bill has to stay when social services threatens to put the boys into care discovering that their mother is gone. A bond between Bill and Jimmy quickly develops, but is short-lived when Jimmy gets into some trouble with the drug dealers - old friends of Bill's... This is a real life drama you can witness from a comfortable chair on a big screen - well written, well acted, well directed... check it out!
- panta2, Friday, August 3, 2012