Life And Lyrics (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner27/09/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 99 mins

Less 8 Mile, more 8 Mile End, this is an enjoyable, if predictable drama, with a superb performance by Walters.

What's it all about?
Ashley Walters (from Bullet Boy) stars as DJ Danny Lewis, the leader of The Motion Crew, a group of South London rappers who are looking forward to besting their hated rivals the Hard Cash Crew in an upcoming rap battle (or rap off) in the prestigious Mic Masters competition. However, Danny complicates matters by falling for Carmen (Louise Rose), a singer who turns out to be related to the Hard Cash Crew.

The Good
Walters is superb, proving once again that he's one of Britain's most exciting young actors. There's also strong support from Chris Steward as Fable, Danny's best friend, who has a surprisingly moving subplot in which he tracks down his (white) mother, who gave him up for adoption.

Unsurprisingly, the music is excellent and the scenes of Danny and his crew jamming are exhilarating. Similarly, as with 8 Mile (the film's most obvious inspiration), the rap battle scenes are terrific and include quality slap-downs such as Let that go, you're in breach of your ASBO.

The Bad
Unfortunately, not all the performances are as good as the leads. Louise Rose, in particular, was clearly cast for her looks rather than her acting ability, whilst Patrick Regis doesn't strike quite the right note as Hard Cash Crew leader, Moneyman.

The film makes an admirable attempt to avoid the usual cliches for example, Moneyman desperately needs to win the contest to avoid being killed, meaning that we sympathise with him despite the fact that he's meant to be the bad guy. That said, the end result is nonetheless predictable and ultimately disappointing as a result.

Worth seeing?
The ending is both disappointing and cliched but Life & Lyrics is worth seeing for the music, the enjoyable script and Walters' performance.

Be the first to review Life And Lyrics...
image
01 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (tbc)

Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, ...

image
02 The Theory of Everything (tbc)

Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson

image
03 Pride (15)

Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Imelda Sta...

image
04 What We Did on Our Holidays (12A)

David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, Anne...

image
05 The Guest (15)

Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Ethan Embry

Content updated: 02/09/2014 10:06

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Night Moves Film Review

Engaging and provocative, this is a fiercely introspective thriller from writer-director Kelly Reichardt, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.