The Business (18)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner31/08/2005

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Fresh from its premiere as the closing night gala film of the Edinburgh Film Festival, The Business opens for, um, business nationwide this week. Expect poster quotes along the lines of “The Business is the business!”, because it’s a stylish, energetic and surprisingly enjoyable thriller, despite looking like the latest in a long line of Lock, Stock knock-offs.

The Story

Danny Dyer plays Frankie, a small time hood who escapes to southern Spain in the 1980s, after killing his abusive father. He quickly falls in with Charlie (Tamer Hassan), a local club owner who happens to be partners with vicious gangster Sammy (Geoff Bell). Sammy’s none too happy about the growing friendship between Charlie and Frankie, particularly when they start running drugs together. To make matters worse, Frankie finds himself falling for jealous Sammy’s flirtatious wife, Carly (Georgina Chapman).

The Good

Love directs with a real sense of style, using kinetic editing and brightly-coloured photography that makes the most of the gorgeous Spanish locations, not to mention the amusingly awful 1980s clothing.

It also has a terrific 1980s soundtrack, which Love puts to much the same use as Scorsese did with his 1960s soundtrack in Goodfellas, with similar results.

The Bad

The influence of Scorsese’s 1990 masterpiece is all over The Business like a rash, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. However, it’s certainly a bit cheeky to steal lines from a film that was made after the period in which your film is set. Other films are in there too (a dash of Lock, Stock, a hint of Sexy Beast) but it’s clear where Love’s allegiances lie.

The acting is extremely good. Danny Dyer tones down his usual swaggering cockney act and gives a genuinely sympathetic performance – his relationship with Tamar Hassan’s Charlie is surprisingly touching. Bell makes a terrific villain – he appears to be a genuinely nasty piece of work. Georgina Chapman provides welcome eye-candy, as well as proving the wisdom of Frankie’s father’s advice – that he should stay away from crime, drugs and women.

The Conclusion

In short, The Business may be flashy and ultimately rather shallow, but it’s extremely entertaining and never dips into parody, despite its derivative nature. A solid Friday night crime flick, with possible cult potential, due to the soundtrack. It also has a killer punchline that makes you seriously question whether the entire film had been building up to that joke. Recommended.

The Business has been reviewed by 1 users
01 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (tbc)

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

02 The Theory of Everything (tbc)

Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson

03 Pride (15)

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

04 What We Did on Our Holidays (12A)

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

05 The Guest (15)

Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Ethan Embry

Content updated: 02/09/2014 14:59

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.