King of Crime (DC Releasing Limited)

Marcus King is the head of the King family, a notorious, violent, and rich crime syndicate, whose fortune is organised in “cyberhubs”. Mr. Mustafa (Vas Blackwood) appears, threatening to send suicide bombers into all of Mr. King’s offices if he doesn’t hand over his business to him, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, family secrets come crawling out of the woodwork – the kind that have the power to destroy the King empire.

Where to start? With the arrival of new girl on the workforce Jessica, comes jealousy between the twin heirs to the throne, from their mother, and a scheme which ultimately leads to the downfall of all three of them, But before that there’s a bout of suicide bombings, questions of paternity, and the revelation that Jessica isn’t prepared to settle for cleaning up after everyone.

Mrs. King’s vicious streak is shown straight away, when she dispatches one of Marcus’ many “bastards”, that apparently crop up from time to time to see about getting their foot in the door of the family enterprise. Despite her protectiveness over the family business, her loyalty doesn’t run much further. Whilst she’s upstairs with gardener, Marcus is elsewhere with his mistress, who isn’t in fact, a mistress at all. The fractured family dynamic only worsens as the plot thickens.

With a cast comprised of big hitters from similar genre movies such as Lock Stock, Green Street, and gritty British TV staples like The Bill and Bad Girls, what you expect is absolutely what you get. Effing and blinding galore, cut throat violence, and a threatening tone applied when so much as ordering a plate of chips.

There’s a lot going on in this film, and in some respects, it might be a little too much. Quite a lot too much,actually. Minor spoliers ahead, so mind how you go…

As well as making a King prince her boyfriend within 5 minutes of her employment, Jessica also secures herself a fake computer hacker boyfriend for their nefarious ends, and in case his loyalty was to falter, stages a rape in front of him, which she appears to recover from very quickly when he agrees to go and work for her “loan sharks”.

After his best friend and right hand man protects Mrs. King from a suicide bomber that turns up on their doorstep, as you do, Marcus suddenly realises after 30 odd years of them being alive that neither of his sons looks anything like him, and decides to send Jessica down the clinic complete with spit and hair samples.

Without wishing to completely spoil it for you, there are quite a few other deep and confusing storylines involving Marcus’ childhood tendencies towards cross dressing, the second son’s proclivity for sexual violence, and, er, the CIA turn up, one of whom was Jessica’s hacker boyfriend all along, along with his boss played by Nicholas Brendon – that’s right, Xander from Buffy.

By the end I was confused. Maybe that’s a comment on my general intelligence, but I like to think of myself as a reasonably clever woman with an attention span which has stood up to such onslaughts as Avatar, like 10 episodes of that Once TV series, and all the Aliens and Predator films made after the first two that no-one was supposed/allowed to care about. All of them. But I was confused. Confused and overwhelmed, and by the end not really motivated in any way to understand what was going on. Maybe my brain was still fuzzy from all the brie I ate at Christmas, or maybe this film just tried to cram too many misc. nationality cyber terrorists, closeted homosexual meltdowns, marriage splits, murders, betrayals, and varied/counterfeit paternity test results into it’s 90 minute running time. And the CIA. The CIA are in it too.  Sophie Francois

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