Rapper Plan B's film debut Ill Manors is so awful he should now contemplate Plan C
23:41 GMT, 7 June 2012
ILL MANORS (18)
Verdict: Worst-ever British gangster film
Ben Drew, alias rapper Plan B, somehow got BBC funding for Ill Manors — his writing and directing debut — even though the script is a mess and the dialogue largely consists of the f and c words.
Did someone at the Beeb really think this rubbish would be transmittable It’s so awful, I half-expected Fearne Cotton to turn up and start interviewing the cast.
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Broken Britain: Riz Ahmed in rapper Plan B's debut film Ill Manors
Ill Manors is a British gangster film that purports to lift the lid off David Cameron’s Broken Britain. Had it lived up to that purpose, it might have been illuminating.
Instead, it’s a tour of the hoariest (and whoriest) cliches from other movies about the British underclass, and feels like six bad, short films stuck together in no particular order to make one unbearably long one.
It gives a disorganised, episodic, relentlessly miserabilist account of criminals, crackheads and prostitutes behaving badly near the Olympic village in East London — near to where Drew grew up — which is meant to give it an air of topicality.
Now and again, the film grinds to a halt while Mr B pontificates in rap about what’s happening. The message of these bits can be summarised as: ‘Look, this is real life, innit.’
Teens behaving badly: Eloise Smyth plays one of the main characters in the film set on an estate near the Olympic village in East London
Losing the plot: The film struggles to keep its story straight with a messy script
To which the only possible answer can be: 'No, this is a pathetic parade of British gangster cliches cobbled together with no discernible artistry or point.’
References to Scorsese’s far superior Mean Streets and Taxi Driver abound — horribly ill-advised, as the quality never rises above the worst ever episode of EastEnders.
Dexter Fletcher’s Wild Bill earlier this year was a reminder that the British gangster genre still has life in it; that film was fresh, funny and ingenious.
Ill Manors is poorly made and self-indulgently long at nearly two hours. Its sense of hectoring self-importance is deeply alienating and, frankly, ill-mannered.
Plan B’s film is so awful he should now be contemplating Plan C.
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