Heroes and Villains (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner15/11/2006

Two out of Five stars

Running time: 110 mins

The script and direction need a bit of work but this is still a watchable comedy with some good gags and terrific performances from Jenna Harrison and James Corden.

What's it all about?
Writer David Raymond stars as Jack, whose layabout flatmates include his sister Clare (Olivia Poulet), overweight Sam (James Corden), cynical Nick (Brendan Patricks) and sex-obsessed Oli (Richard Sumitro). When Sam unwisely bets on his girlfriend's fidelity, his so-called friends prove him wrong by hiring an escort to flirt with her and secretly filming the results.

Sam's devastated but Jack sees an opportunity to get rich quick and hopefully impress gorgeous charity executive Hannah (Jenna Harrison) at the same time. Their honey-trap business proves unexpectedly successful but Sam becomes increasingly disturbed by how many lives they're ruining in the process.

The Good
There's a rough-edged feel to this low-budget comedy that actually works in its favour, particularly in its imaginative use of little-seen London locations. The performances are something of a mixed bag but there are two undeniable stand-outs - Jenna Harrison is delightful as Hannah, whilst Corden provides the only genuinely moving moments as Sam.

The film's premise is a decent one, exploiting the relatively new phenomenon of the Honey-trap Agency (see also EastEnders). However, it takes a big risk in involving its central characters in such a disreputable activity, a risk that backfires in that it makes Jack a largely unsympathetic hero.

The Bad
The script could use another couple of rewrites as it's at least 20 minutes too long. There's also a terribly written and badly performed voiceover from Raymond that should have been scrapped entirely. However, the biggest problem is the shockingly directed finale, which bungles both a protracted and potentially brilliant fight sequence (you can't tell who is fighting who) and the emotional climax.

Worth seeing?
A promising debut that's worth seeing for Next Big Thing-type performances by Harrison and Corden, even if the end result is a little disappointing.

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Content updated: 24/10/2017 12:13

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