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Lucas and Albert film review

★★

Directed by: #DarrenSCook

Film review by: Max White


 


Fictional or otherwise, who do you think of when you think of criminal duos? There’s Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the infamous Eastenders, the Kray brothers.


How about Tarrantino’s Clarence and Alabama, Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis’ Mickey and Mallory Knox or more recently, Queen and Slim.


The names stick in the mind not because of their crimes but because of who they are, what they’re about, what their stories are.


And that’s the problem with Darren Cook’s gangster film Lucas and Albert. Lucas (AG. Longhurst) is a former British Special Forces veteran turned hitman and Albert (James Osborne) is his partner, and the more rounded individual. That’s effectively all you need to know about the central characters.


As the title suggests, the film’s about two men and their relationship with each other and the world. They’re ageing hitmen who are used to working alone but are now brought together by bossman Mr Mac to tie up some loose ends left loose from a robbery some 20 years earlier.


The job takes them along the North Essex coastline, between scenes in their shared car, cafés, restaurants and the beach. It’s unmistakably British in almost every way.


As a piece of film it wears its indie production value with pride, at times even being charming. Like the stubble that appears on an uncle or a father’s face at the weekends. It’s coarse and rough but it’s disarming too.


A gangster flick doesn’t need big name talent or explosive action scenes but it does need people we’re willing to stand behind (or up against). Another critic might take Lucas’ flatulence as an attempt to show that he’s a real person. He farts and he suffers stomach issues like we all do, and so why shouldn’t that be on film? Lucas, in particular, is, after all, a fairly accurate representation of the average man you might meet in a British boozer. But the everyman-ness and the controversy is put on thick and it isn’t supported by any depth or intrigue.


All we're offered is two men struggling to get along with one another under circumstances they were forced into. Occasionally finding a moment to share a laugh together and ponder this and that – sometimes the grotesque, often the bland.


Its strength probably is in its buddy film qualities, the two men’s dialogue at times verging on the humorous. But that’s really where it stops, and for me at least, I was left feeling unfulfilled.


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