Film4: PREMIERE Thursday 23 July, 10.45pm
Six weeks out the clink and Luke Treadaway’s being interviewed by DI Timothy Spall in a Leeds police station. Luke’s face is a mess. The other guy’s unconscious in hospital. He’s Neil Maskell, hardnut head of a drug-dealing ring on the Rise estate. The thug who fitted up Luke for a patently fake heroin smackdown. Luke tells Spall all about his crackpot plan to pull off a heist on Maskell’s turf, with the help of his three mates – rascals, perhaps, but none of them criminals. The best laid plans go awry and the debut feature from writer-director Rowan Athale has nowhere near the best. The multiple flashback set-up from an interrogation room inevitably recalls The Usual Suspects, although this blunder-and-blind-panic con job is played mainly for laughs. These aren’t Reservoir Underdogs. They’re The Inbetweeners on Parole. The only hint of threat comes from Utopia’s headcase Maskell. And the air of unreality is punctured only on the night before the heist, in a scene effectively betraying the boys’ doubts and fears. At least the Yorkshire setting means we’re spared the usual mockney malarkey, but it’s still an indulgent take on guttersnipe manhood. Luke tells his loyal and unfeasibly pretty girlfriend Vanessa Kirby: “I’ve got no choice.” Which is never the case, whatever the occasion. Meanwhile Treadaway plays the whole thing with a barely concealed self-satisfied smirk. He might as well be tapping the side of his nose. “The trouble with you,” club owner Paul Clayton tells him, “is that you rub the wrong people up the wrong way. Even on your day off.” Now him, you can believe.