The Nautilus Mutiny
Aug 8, 2022
Nicholas Pople, Anna Arthur, Alan Kenny, Hinako Matsumoto
A London gangster (of sorts) wants out of the rough and tumble life to start anew but he's got one last job that needs doing before he can go anywhere.
So, The Nautilus Mutiny is nothing new. It's the age old story of the loveable rogue who's been caught in the racket for far too long and wants out but has to go through the motions of the famous last job in order to get there. In fact there's nothing new in the entirety of Daniel Shehata's proof of concept film, being as it is a knock-off and cheap rerun of the London gangster movies that were so prevalent 15-20 years ago, especially those of Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn.
Lester Landon (Pople) works as a rough houser for local watch emporium, Nautilus, whose business model runs much like Simeon Yetarian's car dealership in GTA V. The select, expensive watches are sold at a premium, usually on credit to those who can only afford to pay in instalments – then when the clients inevitably fall behind on their payments, Lester is sent in to repossess the merchandise while the company keeps all the previous deposits.
Lester is also dyslexic and has been receiving lessons from Gloria (Arthur) to improve his reading, a plot point which is used in the latter stages, but which otherwise plays out as an eccentricity that adds nothing to the character or the film. Gloria is never defined as a teacher/girlfriend/sponsor/social worker or anything else and it is never clear how or why her and Lester spend time together in the first place, leaving the relationship empty and somewhat unnecessary.
Lester's boss, Captain Chamberlain (Kenny) works out of a dimly lit back room and defers matters of authenticity to his specialist, Moto (Matsumoto), who only speaks in Japanese and is there to offer light relief through a few backbiting statements. All of this feels very familiar and old ground to walk on with each new eccentric character being ripped off from other, previous incarnations in other films.
This is all extremely disappointing because otherwise The Nautilus Mutiny is a really well made film. The direction is sure, the acting is committed, the cinematography from Oliver Cox really makes the city come alive and the score by Lonely Gimmick ties everything together in a mid-2000's London gangster kind of way – it's just that the story is tired and the characterisation is hackneyed.
There are some nice touches in the film, such as the scenes involving a Rolls Royce convertible drifting around the city and the Day-Date Club populated by notorious Rolex wearing leaders from throughout history, but when mixed in with fast cut read-throughs of runners and riders and background exposition, as well as hipster bearded Lester breaking the fourth wall every so often, the whole thing becomes a melting pot of gangster tropes which we've all seen before.
I guess when you hold up Layer Cake (2004) as your benchmark then really this is all you're gonna get.