Review: Rollin’ With The Nines

After seeing ROTF, which I didn’t think was that bad, I decided to have a crack at Rollin’ With The Nines, an earlier film by the same director/writer team, which most certainly *was* that bad.

It’s got potential, it’s just rubbish overall. There’s a nice opening sequence, which hints at an interesting premise – a narrative based around the journey of a gun through the underworld – but it’s cast aside in minutes in favour of a stodgy, standard ‘rise of a hoodlum’ schtick. The twist – if you can call it a twist and not blush whilst saying it – is that the gangsters are Black Britons. Cue embarrassing stereotypes, leaden dialogue, boring film.

Vas Blackwood and Robbie Gee are in it; they’re not terrible. Naomi Taylor (previous credit: an episode of Doctors) is actually rather good, not that her character or lines are very interesting. Billy Murray has a tiny role as a Cockney über-villain. Turbo Terry Stone is a loudmouthed cop, and in this film his inexperience shows up more than in ROTF, especially when his partner is the eyebrow-raisingly wooden posh boy Dominic Alan-Smith. The co-writer (and brother of the director) Will Gilbey somehow wangles himself a meaty second-string role as another copper on the trail of the gangsters, despite not noticeably having any acting ability (and having trouble with basic speech). Jason Flemyng has a cameo as – wait for it, and bear in mind this is a British gangster film – a police boss called Captain Fleming.

This sort of stuff goes on and on.

To save time, here’s the bad stuff handily condensed:

  • All the lame racial stereotypes. Really. Short of throwing in watermelon smiles and having massive, hissing black snakes slithering around chained up, alabaster-skinned young virgins, I’m not sure how much lower it could sink. To précis: black people are either musicians, or criminals. And when they’re criminals, they’re really rubbish at it, because they’re all emotional and stuff, and can’t be trusted, or their tiny little peanut brains aren’t as good as superior white criminals’ brains, and they end up getting caught or killed.
  • The lack of characterisation at any stage. Who are these people, and why should we care about them? Never mind, Simon from Blue just got blatted in the brain!
  • That pointless sex scene. It’s just boring.
  • The whole Bristol subplot never gets explored, because of the car chase!
  • The rape thing was the worst of exploitation; the only purpose for it was to give the lead woman character a reason for being quite so pissed off to suddenly want to become a drugs baroness (on top of her brother being killed). To me that’s not just lazy scriptwriting, it’s downright offensive.
  • The rubbish ‘meaningful’ character names (Rage, Temper, Hope etc).
  • Honestly, that Dominic Alan-Smith seems to be the main cop character, but he’s so awful! Didn’t anyone notice at the auditions that he just can’t act?
  • Jason Flemyng as, err, ‘Captain Fleming’…
  • Cameo appearances by Dizzee Rascal and Kano! Imaginatively cast as a crack dealer and a gangster!

And the plus points:

  • Simon ‘Blue’ Webbe gets shot quite early on. In the face.
  • There’s No Vinny Jones.
  • There’s a nice little chase sequence, taking in motorway, country lanes, cars and a helicopter, which is fairly ambitious for a tiny little Britflick.
  • The assault on the Yardie house is impressively executed, even if from a plot point of view it’s totally shit. Reminded me of Bad Boys 2.
  • Cameo appearances by Dizzee Rascal and Kano! Imaginatively cast as a crack dealer and a gangster!
[Edited for spelling and all that 5/11/8]

4 responses to “Review: Rollin’ With The Nines

  1. Pingback: HonkWatch #084: Rollin’ With The Nines « Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS

  2. Pingback: A Week In Film #001: Birthday week « Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS

  3. Pingback: A Week In Film #238: Feet under the table | Bristle's Blog from the BunKRS

  4. Pingback: A Week In Film #001: Birthday week | A Week In Film

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