film review: St. George’s Day (2012)

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film review: St. George’s Day (2012)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the British film industry only churns out gritty dramas about gangsters or hooligans. I’m sure it’s not actually true but you can’t deny that those are generally the ones that make it to the cinema.

St George's Day film posterSt. George’s Day is another iteration on the formula, exciting I know… except… it’s actually pretty good. I was as shocked as you are now. I’d grown tired of the same old thing so I honestly didn’t think I’d see anything in it that make me sit up and take notice.

Just look at the plot. A couple of London drug dealers wind up in a spot of bother when a job with the Russian mafia goes sour. Turns out they don’t like it when one of theirs ends up dead and you spread their cocaine across a beach. Throw in a lap dancing club, diamonds and some hooligans and this sounds like every other crime drama you’ve ever seen out of Britain.

Well, as it turns out, it is possible to do the same old thing reasonably well. Now, I’m not saying St. George’s Day is fantastic… but star and director Frank Harper has managed to stir the soup in a way that brings the best flavours to the top. Sorry, I don’t know what came over me there, I’ll leave out the food analogies.

There are some good performances in there from Craig Fairbrass and Harper and they aren’t let down by a supporting cast that includes Dexter Fletcher and Sean Pertwee. Former Page 3 girl Keeley Hazell could have been less annoying but hey, it suits the role.

St. George’s Day embraces the clich├ęs. Which is a curious strategy. However, with good pacing, the performances I mentioned earlier, and some decent production values for once, it works. If I’m being honest, the plot is a little convoluted and… well… downright daft in the end, but if I am giving them points for committing to the tropes of the genre I can hardly turn around to pick them apart now. The dialogue as well is a little laughable at times but it’s perfectly serviceable.

The fact of the matter is, while St. George’s Day won’t be featuring on the BAFTA list for next year, it’s a pretty enjoyable film. I think of it as the equivalent of a half decent romantic comedy. You know what’s going to happen, you’ve seen it all before, but if you still chuckle when you’re supposed to and you still shed a tear in the final act, it’s done its job.

It may have helped that I was expecting a 2/10 film here but whatever the circumstances I was pleasantly surprised. I can’t really complain too much about that.


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